Tuesday, September 25, 2007

On tennis and social networking.

An interesting story has appeared linking the world of sport with online social networking.
Read about it here and here. It's quite an interesting exercise to compare the two reports, one being the source for the other.
(If you have the time listen to the radio report.)

It seems that two up and coming young tennis stars have been burning the candle at both ends, playing tennis well and partying well. According to a report on radio5live, these teenagers drank, ate pizza, partied and chilled; then to compound their sins they posted photos of their leisure activities on Bebo.

In their report the BBC state
"Rice, the second-best British junior, and Broady, the national Under-18 champion, have had their funding withdrawn after they were deemed by the LTA to have breached contracts requiring them to act professionally. The LTA took the action after being alerted by the BBC to photos and confessions on the Bebo social networking website."
The interesting thing about this story is that the LTA hadn't noticed that there had been anything wrong with their behaviour; the incriminating photographs on Bebo were discovered by the BBC who must have rushed to inform the LTA, and then produced a news article.

I'm really not certain who's at fault here. There are several sides to the story.
I guess the fault could lie with
  • The tennis stars for not understanding how the privacy controls on Bebo work.
  • The tennis stars for daring to let their hair down.
  • The LTA for not watching over their young professionals more carefully.
  • The LTA for not explaining their expectations to their young players.
  • The BBC for spilling the beans ........
How long will it be before professionals in all walks of life are expected to sign contracts stating that

thou shalt not use social networking sites.
thou shalt not have a social life.
thou shalt not combine your private and public life?

Facebook must be relieved that for once its Bebo that's making the news.

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