Feeds

BBC mulls talent Twitter ban to prevent storyline spoilers

Loose-lipped thesps' stealing own thunder blunders

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Updated A ban on the use of Twitter and other public forums is being considered by BBC bosses, in an effort to prevent stars and writers from talking about details of the broadcaster's confidential upcoming productions online.

The Guardian, which cites senior sources, reports that BBC execs are mulling over the possibility of tweaking contracts to stop talent from blurting out storyline spoilers, casting news and planned press announcements.

Singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor recently let slip on Twitter that she would appear alongside Sting in a new BBC comedy series fronted by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant called Life's Too Short.

The Beeb had planned to make a big announcement about Sting's appearance in the show, before she disclosed the details on the microblogging site.

"There's no doubt that Twitter is a popular communications phenomenon but it can also be quite disruptive if artists tweet about an appearance on a show or announce a new commission before the broadcaster is ready to go with the story," an anonymous BBC exec told The Guardian.

"Broadcasters can have a number of reasons for wanting to delay press announcements, such as the deal not being done or contracts not being signed or, indeed, the broadcaster wanting to make a big splash with a great story at a particularly opportune moment. A random tweet can rob an artist of his or her potentially much louder fanfare."

Currently, stars and writers typically seek advice about the use of Twitter and other online forums from their producers and agents. The BBC has urged those individuals to provide their talent with the appropriate Beeb guidelines on such usage.

But such conduct is currently difficult to police, given that many stars use Twitter and the like in a personal capacity.

However, as one television drama editor pointed out to The Register today, most performers are required to sign confidentially agreements when they join a new, yet-to-be-screened production, so it's unclear why such a watertight contract doesn't already extend to the use of Twitter. ®

Update

The Corporation issued this statement late this afternoon:

"The BBC is not banning the use of Twitter by talent or writers. The BBC has clear guidelines in place for both the personal and professional use of social media, and we encourage staff, writers and talent to use social media, provided it does not break any confidentiality agreements."

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management
How using vulnerability assessments to identify exploitable weaknesses and take corrective action can reduce the risk of hackers finding your site and attacking it.