Regular readers of the blog will know I am a big fan of football. Last night I was watching the FA Cup Match between AFC Wimbledon and Liverpool on the BBC. Like many fans, whilst watching games I will normally be on Twitter making comments on the game and seeing what other people are saying about the game.
The host for the programme was Gary Lineker and during the game whilst he wasn’t on camera he was tweeting from his personal Twitter account. One of his tweets contained a swear word which he later then blamed on auto-correct. No one will ever know besides Gary if he did tweet the swear word intentionally or not but I think it does raise an interesting situation.
Gary is paid a salary by the BBC, which is funded by License Fee paying members of the general public. He like anybody else has the right to have their own Twitter account and tweet their own views. On top of this I know Twitter is a great platform to promote TV shows as well, so I think it is good that TV personalities use their own following to drum up support and viewers for a show.
With all that said though, I do think when you are working you are representing the company you work for during that period of time. I am sure there are policies about swearing on air but do TV companies and the like have policies about engaging with social media whilst live on air?
I think what you say on twitter should be treated the same as if you were to say something out loud. I think in many ways we have wised up to that as a world with the police getting involved in trolling, bullying and threats made on social media. Celebrities need to be more careful than most on Twitter as they have so much to lose with an accidental or mistaken tweet.
If someone is tweeting from their own personal twitter account whilst working are they increasing their own brand and awareness whilst being paid to do a job? If so is this right? Should the employer have the right to stop people from tweeting whilst working or have control over what they are tweeting?
Many people in all kinds of lines of work will tweet whilst working. Some will have on their profile that their views are their own and not the company they work for and some won’t ever mention the company they work for to try and avoid any problems. If a person is synonymous with the job they do or the company they work in, I think it is nearly impossible for what they say on social media not to be associated with that job or company.
As I say in lots of my blogs about social media, it is an ever-evolving thing, which evolves at a rate of knots. This makes it hard for policies and procedures to keep up and remain relevant. In a lot of cases on social media it takes something to happen for people to have an opinion on whether it is right or wrong and for a procedure or policy to be put in to place. I think the situation last night was case in point.