Worldwide Leader Reminds Talent Not To Use Twitter As Their "Personal Playground"

Following a February to forget, ESPN's senior vice president of talent sent a reminder to staff that Twitter "is not a place to incite arguments" or "render threats." Last month, ESPN's Ryen Russillo challenged a Boston radio host to a fight on Twitter; he had since been suspended for those actions.

As you’ve been reading here on Media Rantz, ESPN has been in the news for all the wrong reasons – then again, it wouldn’t be the first time.

Earlier this week, Laurie Orlando, the Senior Vice President of Talent Development and Planning at the Worldwide Leader, felt inclined to send a mass email to all of the network’s personalities, reminding them to think twice before tweeting. (And we only know this because the email was leaked to Deadspin.)

“Hi, everyone,” the message begins. “It seems every week we read something more in the media about social engagement gone bad, whether on Twitter or Facebook or some other form of social media.” [I bet ESPN would like to forget about Super Bowl week.] “I have attached for your information an article which ran in the New York Times last week, exposing the perils of tweeting and how a bad decision can impact your career. I have also attached the most updated social media guidelines, which are important for you to review and keep handy.

“In short, it’s in everyone’s best interest to be smart about how to participate in social media circles. Twitter is truly another stream of media and, when used wisely, is a wonderful tool for you personally and for our company. That said, it is not your personal playground. It is not a place to incite arguments, render threats, divulge company information or opine endlessly. Think twice before you re-tweet, for the information you are forwarding may not be factual at all, yet your name and credibility will be attached to that information. As you would on television, radio or in print, act responsibly, respectfully and professionally.   “Thank you for your time and please, pay serious attention to this. Best, Laurie.”

By the way: it appears Ryen Russillo was indeed suspended for his improper use of Twitter (challenging another radio host to a fight, charity or otherwise), judging by his absence from “The Scott Van Pelt Show” for a few days in mid-February. Between that and up to four instances of the use of “chink in the armor” with regards to Jeremy Lin on their platforms, ESPN should thank their lucky stars that February is the shortest month of the year – even if it is a leap year.

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