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Who Can Control Social Media?

The debate for “control” over social media continues to heat up.  Robert Mackey writes in the New York Times: As Mashable’s Adam Ostrow reported on Monday, the No Fun League National Football League issued a new social media policy that bars players from posting updates on Twitter or Facebook just before, during and just after games.

The N.F.L. policy was announced just days after notices were posted around the National Tennis Center in New York, where the U.S. Open is taking place, headlined: “Important. Player Notice. Twitter Warning.” The notices warned players against posting updates containing any information that could be used by gamblers.

As The Associated Press reported:

The signs at the U.S. Open say tweeting is not allowed on court during matches. They also warn about using Twitter away from the court, saying sending “certain sensitive information concerning your match or other matches and/or players should be avoided. Depending on the information sent out this could be determined as the passing of ‘inside information.’”

As Mashable’s post about the new N.F.L. policy notes, there will be no tweeting in the press box either, as the league tries to come to grips with a world in which television broadcasters feel that their rights are being infringed upon by near-live text-based coverage of games on Web sites and blogs

The Battle For Control Will Continue to Heat Up

Whether professional sports, corporate performance or any kind of original content or sensitive information, control of such has and always will be a battle.

The battle to control communications has and always will be a struggle between the individual and the institutions whom seems to believe they have “rights” to control communications and the few seem to think they know what is best over the many.

The advent of all this social stuff and mass dissemination of conversations will only continue to fuel the battle for control. Information has and always will be the center of power struggles between people, institutions, and governments. However never before have the people been enabled to “speak” with such influence and that is what will continue to intensifies the battle.

Confidential information has and will always leak. Now “leaks” are waves and all because we’ve discovered a new way to communicate. Some simply don’t think about what should or shouldn’t be communicated. Now the cost of not thinking has become transparent and at huge risk to those trying to control it.

How Do You Manage Control?

History shows that when you attempt to control people and their communications you are likely to start a riot or even a war.   Any “communications” which tries to evoke control over human behavior immediately creates resistance and in many cases only fuels that which you are trying to control.

Control can be instituted via persuasion or by the power of influence. The power of influence can be driven either via bottom up or top down.  Top down power doesn’t work well because it represents a few trying to control the many. Bottom up power represents the many given the power to influence the few whom think they possess the power.

When the many are empowered it is always best for the few to simply ask the many to solve a problem then the many own it.  When a few decide on policies that impact the many they will always face resistance. Trying to enforce control against resistance fuels the many to figure out how to get around the control.  The minds and creativity of the many always win against the few.

If you want to control social media simply ask the many and give them the control. Why? Because they already have the control and you don’t. Get it?

What say you?

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