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University of Washington takes on the Twittering press

(Ed Note: This article appears courtesy our friends at Run The Floor, Bloguin's college basketball home.  RTF focuses on analyzing the college game through tempo free stats, but also features some of the more interesting stories and videos from the sport.  Like this bizarre news about the University of Washington reprimanding a beat reporter for tweeting too much.  Yes, tweeting too much.)

Todd Dybas, a reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune and a contributor to SI.com, was reprimanded by the University of Washington on Sunday during the Huskies 85-63 win over Loyola (MD). Did he leave the area to which the press is restricted? Did he eat too much free food? Was he openly cheering for the visiting team? Talking too loud on his phone? Nope, he tweeted too much.

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It turns out that the university has a policy which only allows credentialed media to send 20 tweets during a basketball game. And the university "reserves all actions against Credential Holder, including but not limited to the revocation of the credential. UW and its designated personnel shall be the final authority on whether a Credential Holder or Credential Entity is following the Live Coverage Policy."

In other words, they monitor your tweets. And count them on a clicker.

Nonsense? Of course it is. Should a public university be in the business of regulating how much content can be produced by reporters? This is a move to protect their brand, and hopefully drive users toward their content, but I fail to see how the university feels threatened by this:

As a credentialed member of the media (not to U-Dub) I decided to see how I'd fare under this policy. So I went back to the Florida State game during which I was live tweeting last night and counted. It turns out I sent 15 tweets (no ban!). But I also had six more twitter mentions that were only to one person (answering questions, debating, etc…) and since UW and its designated personnel are the final authority on whether a tweet is indeed a comment on live action, I'll guess I'll have to wait for a ruling. Fingers crossed.

Follow Michael and Run The Floor on Twitter @RunTheFloor.

[Geekwire]

Matt Yoder

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