BBC execs campaign to stop writers and actors joining Twitter (on no they're not)
A group of BBC executives are said to be spurring on a company wide initiative to stop actors, writers and talent from joining social networking website Twitter.
The move comes after increasing numbers of Twitter reveals from high profile actors relating to BBC projects in the future. Most recent was Sophie Ellis Bextor, who announced her appearance alongside Sting in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's new Life's Too Short show. There was also the recent announcement by the BBC's head of communications on Twitter regarding plans for a new series of Doctor Who, which resulted in an ongoing feud with Private Eye over the series.
The Guardian is quoting sources as saying that the BBC is pushing for changes to contracts to stop talent using Twitter and internet forums to discuss involvement with productions.
"There's no doubt that Twitter is a popular communications phenomenon but it can also be quite disruptive if artists tweet about an appearance on a show or announce a new commission before the broadcaster is ready to go with the story." an anonymous BBC Vision employee told the Guardian.
"Broadcasters can have a number of reasons for wanting to delay press announcements, such as the deal not being done or contracts not being signed or, indeed, the broadcaster wanting to make a big splash with a great story at a particularly opportune moment. A random tweet can rob an artist of his or her potentially much louder fanfare." he added.
The BBC already governs what staff can and can't put on their Facebook pages. Announced three years ago was a set of formal guidelines on using the social networking site.
Update: The BBC has issued a statement responding to the supposed attempts at social media bans:
"The BBC is not banning the use of Twitter by talent or writers. The BBC has clear guidelines in place for both the personal and professional use of social media, and we encourage staff, writers and talent to use social media, provided it does not break any confidentiality agreements."
It has also posted links to its professional and personal guidelines to using social media.
Should employees be allowed to use Twitter? Or is it just too dangerous?