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pittsburgh steelers

social mediaFresh from one not one social media marketing fiasco but two, the owners and managers of the Pittsburgh Steelers are considering banning players from using social media. Seems to me that’s a little like telling your kid not play with matches. If they are stupid enough (and eager enough) to burn the house down, they will find some other way to do it if you take the matches away. It is a much better idea to bring in a social media expert to educate their players about the power of social media as a marketing and publicity tool. Perhaps then they would think twice before Tweeting something that only their mother would love (and even she might not like what she reads.)

In the wake of Rashard Mendenhall’s cringe-worthy Osama Bin Laden moment on Twitter, there’s probably a contingent of people who think that the Mendenhall should probably run anything he’s firing out onto the Internet by someone in the PR department.

Mark Madden of the Beaver County Times wants to take things a step further, though, and have the Steelers keep everyone on the team off of social media.

“When the NFL labor dispute ends, the Steelers should: Bar players from social networking,” Madden wrote on Sunday. “No Twitter, no Facebook, nothing of the sort. No tangible good can come from it. Only stupidity.”

Madden also wrote that the Steelers should “order Mendenhall to apologize.”

Though I’m not sure what Mendenhall should apologize for — “My bad for having an opinion, exercising my First Amendment rights and then not apologizing enough in my original apology, you guys!” — it’s the first point that bothers me more.

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pittsburg steelers and twitterPittsburgh Steeler Rashard Mendenhall question the reality of the events behind the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. Then his teammate, Steelers safety Ryan Clark went on the radio and said “social media is ruining the world.” Two wrongs do not make a right and two stupid things posted on Twitter do not have to make sense.
Sure, social media allows celebrities, and anyone, to post anything they want, spur of the moment, without giving it much (if any) thought at all. This does not mean social media is bad.
I can use a hammer to drive a nail or I can walk over to my neighbor’s house and use my hammer to bash in his skull. is the hammer to blame, or am I? Social media, like everything online, is simply a tool. How we choose to use it, when, where and why, is up to us. But don’t blame the messenger if you don’t like the message. Blame the sender.

Needless to say, a lot of people took exception to these opinions. Clark, for his part, put some of the blame on Twitter, which gives everyone the ability to quickly (and sometimes regrettably) share their knee-jerk reactions.

“Facebook and Twitter are probably going to be responsible for more divorces than infidelity coming up here soon,” Clark said. “(Mendenhall) didn’t claim that those opinions were shared by anyone else but himself. That was what he chose to put out there. I knew he was going to catch a lot of flak for it, I knew there was going to be a lot of backlash toward those comments, but he’s entitled to put whatever he wants to put on his Twitter page. The thing you have to know these days, though, if you do put those type of things out there, people are going to comment on them. It’s going to make news. It’s going to be a big deal when you do something that controversial. A long as he can stand by his statements then he’s free to do whatever he wants.”

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