Do we really need rules?

I see that the FDA and NFL have both published rules / guidelines on how to use social media recently. Really?

We have two articles: FDA issues first social media rules for drug companies and NFL: Players can tweet during Pro Bowl game, not with phones. Both of these seem foolish and a waste of energy. At least the FDA and pharmaceutical companies have a long history of trying to figure out how to say things without over-reaching on claims of efficacy (advertising rules). But now they are telling pharma companies to NOT engage publicly with customers and doctors and others when they ask questions on social media. Shouldn't we want them to engage publicly so that the next person who has the same question can find it, rather than going through the same back-channel to gain the information. Of course, we know how this will work. People already get the information from "non validated" sources online, and they will continue to do so until the FDA and other regulatory agencies open their minds to the idea of companies engaging with their constituencies online. If the companies lie or go too far in their statement, that should be out there too - so that other people can call them on it.

The NFL policy is just silly. It's not that I want players tweeting from their huddles or taunting their oponents after impressive touchdowns. It's just that the NFL should not be making these policies. The coaching staff should tell their players to put their phones away and FOCUS ON THE GAME. That's why they've been hired, and that's what they should be doing. Forcing the teams to buy a purpose-built kiosk for 'net access? You've got to be kidding.

Okay, back to my irregularly scheduled programming.

2 Comment(s)

Anon said:

Wow, your outrage on the NFL's policy is based on bad information. Perhaps it's because the article is over your 140-character attention span limit.

The teams will not be buying a purpose built-kiosks for net access. The NFL will and ONLY for the ProBowl.

As for making coaches establish a social media policy instead of the league, that's just nonsense on your part. That would be like having a store manager at Best Buy set the HR policies instead of the Corporate Office. The NFL has obligations to it's media partners. Allowing players to give scoops to non-partners at the same time, or worse, before well-paying partners would cause a lot of hassle.

Let the coaches coach and let the league set media policies.

@Anon. I wouldn't exactly call it "outrage." And you are correct that I don't have all the facts. I was riffing on the idea that organizations are setting rules in contexts where it just doesn't seem to make sense. The fact that the NFL deems it necessary to buy / lease kiosks so that players can participate in social media during the three hours that they are being payed seems odd to me. I know that the NFL imposes much more control on the franchises than I suggested, but it still seems to be the coach and staff of each team who should get their players to focus on the game.

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