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Update – Social Media Ban Lifted by SEC

August 18, 2009

Many of you read my blog post from last night talking about the SEC banning all social media usage at sporting events.  The policy was made to protect their $3 billion dollar contract with CBS.  In my opinion it was a policy made by old heads of the SEC who were clearly out of touch with the current times.  As I said in my previous post banning social media would do much more damage to The SEC than Twitter commentary or posted Facebook photos.

Well it turns out The SEC figured that out as well.  The SEC revised their media guidelines and now social media is acceptable when it is used for non commercial use.  The new policy reads (Thanks to Mashable for posting it):

“No Bearer may produce or disseminate in any form a “real-time” description or transmission of the Event (i) for commercial or business use, or (ii) in any manner that constitutes, or is intended to provide or is promoted or marketed as, a substitute for radio, television or video coverage of such Event. Personal messages and updates of scores or other brief descriptions of the competition throughout the Event are acceptable. If the SEC deems that a Bearer is producing a commercial or real-time description of the Event, the SEC reserves the right to pursue all available remedies against the Bearer.

Absent the prior written permission of the Southeastern Conference, game action videos of the Event may not be taken by Bearer. Photos of the Event may be taken by Bearer and distributed solely for personal use (and such photographs shall not be licensed, used, or sold commercially, or used for any commercial or business purpose).”

So it seems like the SEC has wised up and fixed their policy blunder.  This was clearly the right decision.  It just would have caused a PR and social media nightmare with users mad that they couldn’t share their experiences with their friends.  Well all know that social media users love their user generated content.

Hats off to The SEC for not being too “good” to change their policy.  Hats off to everyone that wasn’t pleased with the new policy and helped spread the news.  You all are partly responsible for the policy change as well.  You used the mediums which were banned (social media) to express your feelings, which clearly influenced the decision makers at The SEC.   SEC, good work in realizing and fixing the mistake instead of being stubborn and leaving it as it was.

Let Facebookers, Twitterers and Bloggers rejoice!!

Follow Todd on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/toddliss

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