The WPBSA can not tell a player to not use social media but a letter sent out last week shows their dislike of the recent happenings on Twitter concerning several accounts who claim to be professional Snooker players.
Last week two of the fake accounts were suspended by Twitter pending a investigation into complaints about the content of the Tweets but 3 days later the accounts were back on line and posting again.
Here is the letter sent out on the 28th February to the players.
It is with disappointment that I am forced to write to you about a number of issues relating to social media.
Social networking has become a way of life for many people and the audience it reaches is vast and global. Used correctly, social media can be a powerful tool to elevate your career and our sport, but sadly a number of players continue to tweet, retweet or post offensive material.
Let me explain clearly the difficulties which can be caused. As World Snooker continues to pursue potential sponsors, partners and new territories, our sport is scrutinised in every way. What is our sport like? What are our players like? What is our social media like? These are common questions. Companies will scour the internet for stories and comments, in order that their senior executives can take the key decision whether to associate their brand or product with us. One small comment which is offensive, posted or re-posted, can be catastrophic to our commercial value, which in turn is your prize money and events.
The WPBSA is responsible for the governance and integrity of our sport, not only do we monitor betting markets worldwide, we also monitor a significant number of social networking sites. If material is found that is likely to cause offence or damage the commerciality of the sport or should World Snooker or the WPBSA receive any complaints of such postings or re-postings, the WPBSA will take disciplinary action in line with our member’s rules. There are a growing number of players who have been dealt with for breaches of the member’s rules as a result of posts on social networking sites.
In order for you to understand the do’s and don’ts of social networking, the WPBSA has researched the sporting environment and prepared a set of guidelines for you to follow. Please take some time to read and understand these guidelines, as this is a very important issue.
I will finish by saying the WPBSA has no appetite to quash opinions or stop friendly banter, but we are driving this sport in to new territories for the benefit of you, the players. I urge you all to be considerate and vigilant about your postings. You must think about the implications of your actions, this is our sport and we must safeguard its future together.