Some professional sports organizations seem to really get social media, and others just really, really don’t. In that latter category apparently belong the American PGA and PGA European Tour, which have banned spectators from uploading pictures, video, or audio from the upcoming Ryder Cup in Scotland to social media, according to the Telegraph, which reported the news this week.
The organizers provided this not very explanatory explanation: “No audio or video capture is permitted at all during the six-day event as the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and the PGA European Tour want to make sure their image is intact, and players are not distracted.”
Furthermore, “Images taken with a camera, mobile phone or other electronic device cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes. You must not sell, license, publish (including, without limitation, via Twitter or Facebook or any other social media site) or otherwise commercially exploit photographs.”
Stating the excruciatingly obvious, it’s not clear why players who are already used to having every miniscule move scrutinized by TV cameras on the course would be distracted by someone holding up a smartphone on the sidelines. Similarly I’m not sure how social media threatens to make the “image” of the organizers less “intact,” of even what “intact” means in this case. Unblemished? Consistent? Our advertisers told us not to let you?
As the Telegraph points out, it will be difficult to enforce this policy, considering around 250,000 attendees are expected at the Ryder Cup, where the best British and American players face off.
As noted, this isn’t the first time event organizers have come up with some really obtuse social media regulations. For the 2014 Winter Olympics, Russia’s official R-Sport news agency issued rules forbidding reporters with print publications from publishing content on any social media platforms at risk of having their accreditation canceled.