Wick Communications

How not to use Twitter

In journalism on November 26, 2010 at 10:35 am

Need another example of the potential pitfalls of social media? Google “Scott Raab.”

Raab is a longtime contributor to Esquire magazine and is apparently working on a book about LeBron James. So far so good. Seems like a guy who would have no problem getting credentials to cover NBA games, right?

Well, that was true. Until even he says he went too far with his Tweets.

In my view, Raab went too far when he referred to James as “Whore of Akron,” something he apparently thinks is funny and does repeatedly on his Twitter feed. Our man Raab didn’t stop there, though. By all accounts, he posted a bunch of expletives in his references to James in a series of Tweets.

James’ team, the Miami Heat, took notice. After consulting with the NBA, the team notified Raab he would no longer be eligible for press row…

Now normally, I’m apt to side with reporters on these things. I don’t like to see professional or college sports teams using credentials as a stick to assure reporters don’t step out of line. Many, many times teams have banned reporters who have reported unpleasant facts about their star athletes.

This isn’t one of those times.

Heat officials are absolutely right. They should expect a base level of professionalism from the people who cover their teams and are afforded the extraordinary access given to credentialed media. That professionalism necessarily extends to social media posts away from the work environment.

Consider it another cautionary tale and be careful.

Clay

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