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Premier League announces official social media policy

Many sports organizations utilise Twitter as part of their overall social media strategy in order to provide people with a way to get more involved in the action.

Being able to communicate directly with superstar athletes can be a real thrill for loyal fans, but it can also cause problems when players forget to maintain a level of formality.

The English Premier League has learnt that lesson the hard way, recently charging Arsenal football club midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong with improper conduct for comments the 20-year-old made on Twitter earlier this month.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, the Premier League has issued a set of guidelines to clubs concerning what is and what is not suitable social media behaviour.

However Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore has noted that he believes the way players are using social media to share original content is mostly healthy.

"Social media is doing a good job of allowing fans to feel closer to the players … there is a more human side now to some of the players and the public can communicate more directly with them," said Mr Scudamore (July 24).

"Clearly it isn't the same as texting your best mate or talking to someone in person and sometimes there can be abusive comments, but generally the internet, online chat rooms, and the way people are communicating is healthy."

The Premier League isn't the first sporting organisation to take this step. The International Olympic Committee has made their social media guidelines available for public viewing, while Swimming Australia also chose to write up an official policy following controversies surrounding the online activities of two Olympic representatives.

A total of 20 teams from across England compete in the Barclay's Premier League, and with games viewed in more than 640 million homes it is widely considered to be the most watched football league in the world.

Posted by Zak Wash