27th June 2021
2nd July 2012 - What’s it going to take to stop people screwing up on social media?
Here we go again – another story about a big news announcement scuppered by a leak on Twitter.
The latest gaffe concerns Birmingham City’s appointment of new manager Lee Clark.
The evening before the Championship football club was due to unveil the former Huddersfield Town boss as its new manager, Clark’s son Jack let the cat out of the bag on Twitter.
Jack used his Twitter account @jakclark95 to tweet “Buzzing about my dad getting the #BCFC job”.
Minutes later, he followed it up with a tweet saying “Had a nice night with @gcpowellx and then to top it off my dad gets Birmingham job 🙂 brilliant… Xxx”.
There had already been media speculation that Clark was set to be named the new manager, so Jack’s tweet didn’t come as a total surprise. But, nonetheless, the leak took some of the wind out of the sails of the Birmingham club, which wanted to trumpet the appointment of a new boss after it was left in the lurch by former manager Chris Hughton, who was poached by Norwich City.
So how do you stamp these leaks out?
That’s the million dollar question.
In such cases, the old-school draconian press officer in me aches to enforce the ‘don’t talk to the press’ or inappropriate use of social media policies of an employment contract.
But, in the digital age, the Clark case proves that even if all the parties involved keep stum, leaks can come from leftfield in the form of excitable close family members.
So if you can’t be draconian then you have to be an educator, and therein lies the rub.
Yes, it’s easy to say there needs to be more training for people about the rights and responsibilities of sharing thoughts in the public domain, especially using social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.
But if seemingly educated people like university students Joshua Cryer and Liam Stacey – Cryer was jailed for racially abusing former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore on Twitter and Stacey did the same to Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba – can’t work out what they should and shouldn’t say on Twitter, what chance do the rest of us have?
Something needs to change and on a big scale but, frankly, I’ve no idea where to start. Do you know what should be done?
About the Author: Paul Kirby
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