The Ryder Cup's Social Media Two-Step
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/3/14
How powerful are ordinary people when they use social media? Powerful enough to make the PGA of American and the European Tour backtrack in a flash.

On August 31, the Telegraph reported that people from the two organizations announced a ban on uploading photographs from the 2014 Ryder Cup to social media. Anyone violating a laundry list of rules would have their cameras and mobile devices confiscated for the entire day:
"Images taken with a camera, mobile phone or other electronic device cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes. You must not sell, license, publish (including, without limitation, via Twitter or Facebook or any other social media site) or otherwise commercially exploit photographs."
And while the rule was made so as to not disrupt players during this pressure-packed event, it didn't take long for a firestorm to erupt:

Apparently, the rule also caught PGA of America president Ted Bishop by surprise:

Now, Ryder Cup Europe have walked back part of the rules. The match director, a fellow by the name of Edward Kitson, said in a prepared statement:
"We want people to share their stories online and feel part of The Ryder Cup. We have put in place a range of fantastic activities in the tented village and around the course that use technology to improve the visitor experience, and these are integrated with social networks. Selfies are positively encouraged and I expect to see plenty of them during the event.

"However, I'm sure everyone will understand that we have to draw a line in the interests of fair play and respect for the players and fellow spectators. Therefore no photography or video will be allowed during play at any hole. This is something we fully expect everyone to support given that The Ryder Cup is won and lost on very fine margins: we want to give the teams every chance of a level playing field and ensure everyone can see the action."
So, more intelligent heads have finally prevailed.

Meanwhile, the Telegraph posted this article about how various golf organizations have been using digital media to increase golf spectatorship worldwide.

Among other things, this reminded us of one episode during the "early days" of the World Wide Web, when both the Dallas Morning News and National Public Radio had policies requiring people to get their permission just to post a hyperlink to an article on their respective web sites. Following an avalanche of criticism and justified ridicule, the DMN and NPR both walked back their unenforceable rules.

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