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League Issues New Twitter Policy

The NFL released its amended policy Monday for use of Twitter and other social media platforms by players, coaches and other team personnel on game days, prohibiting such use beginning 90 minutes before a game until following the conclusion of media interviews after a game.

The league did not restrict Twitter use by players and coaches on other days.

The NFL issued a written announcement that said in part: "The growth of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook has created important new ways for the NFL and clubs to communicate and connect with fans. The NFL has been at the forefront of the use of new media and will continue to emphasize innovative and appropriate use of these new forms of communication."

League rules previously had barred players, coaches and other club personnel from using cell phones, computers and other electronic devices on the sideline, in the locker room and in the coaches' booth in the press box between pregame warmups through the conclusion of a game.

NFL officials felt the need to issue an amended set of rules because of the prevalent use of Twitter by many players.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had threatened to post to his Twitter account during games.

That's prohibited under this policy, which says that "coaches, players and football operations personnel are permitted under league policy and with club permission to use social media on game day during specific time periods before and after games... up to 90 minutes before kickoff and after the game following media interviews," according to the NFL's written release.

The NFL banned updates during that period by a player, coach or team official "or anyone representing" one of those people.

The league barred its game officials and members of its officiating department from using social media platforms at any time.

The NFL also indicated that its previous policies prohibiting play-by-play descriptions of games while they're in progress apply to Twitter and other social media platforms.

By Mark Maske  |  August 31, 2009; 4:53 PM ET  | Category:  League Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

The NFL policy prohibiting employees from commenting during theses "game windows," isn't surprising, especially as we saw this already occur in the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks and Charlie Villanueva (

The NFL's policy definitely contrasts with the SEC's initial misguided attempt to prohibit fans attending games from engaging with each other via social networks (smartly reverted by the SEC one day after announcing the conference's policy).

We believe fans will always demand and deserve access to more information, interactions with other passionate, like-minded fans. That's why we created, where you can connect with other fans in real-time.


Posted by: dbeckoff | September 1, 2009 1:47 PM

It seems like the NFL is more concerned with the media covering games then with Twitter:

Posted by: bhaber1 | September 1, 2009 1:38 PM

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