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NYC Ballet considers social media guidelinesWall Street Journal


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45 replies to this topic

#16 GretchenStar

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 02:05 PM

I'm not sure how I feel about the proposed policy. I don't see the correlation between Albreda's tweets and the proposed policy (ban against comments on other dancers' injuries, etc). Sure, Albreda's tweets may cause some embarrassment for NYCB, but I think your director getting arrested for DWI is probably embarrassing already. It's not that Albreda is making crazy, wild claims on his Twitter feed.

I don't have any major problems with the proposed policy - it is somewhat limited in scope, though does the ban still count if one NYCB employee takes a photo of another employee, without his/her permission, but they are both out in public? Or is the ban only limited to NYCB studios/theater and events? And the whole idea of NYCB having the authority to "police" or monitor their employees activities on social media sites just sounds wrong. Sure, the dancers/employees are posting on public (assuming the hypothetical Facebook profiles are not set to private) and it's their choice, but NYCB has the freedom to let people go or not sign them on for the next season (I'm assuming; not too familiar with union contracts). They don't need a policy to theoretically grant them the authority to do so.

In pro sports, I believe most of the leagues have certain restrictions regarding comments made by players/coaches/owners. You criticize the refereeing in an NBA game, you get slapped with a $25K fine. However, those situations are somewhat different - if you question a ref, you are questioning the integrity of the game and alluding to cheating. From a business standpoint, the leagues could stand to lose money (why go see a ballgame when the results are already fixed?). For NYCB, is the potential for a decrease in business a real issue? Only in that donors may not donate. I don't think anything an individual dancer posts or says would have a significant influence on whether audience members continuing going to the ballet.

#17 puppytreats

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 03:51 PM

Does the prohibition on discussing injuries mean that the dancers cannot advise or notify followers that the cast will change for an upcoming show, thereby alerting readers to come see or avoid commuting to see a specific dancer? I would love to know in advance that certain dancers would appear to replace an injured dancer.

#18 Stecyk

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 05:30 PM

I don't think anything an individual dancer posts or says would have a significant influence on whether audience members continuing going to the ballet.

Without meaning to be mean, do you think what a fashion designer is allegedly to have said while in an inebriated state would affect what fashioniestas wear?

As we have seen, a few misplaced evil comments can ruin a person, his reputation, and his work. Luckily, the team--in this case a company--simply terminated him.

Words combined with media are powerful.

#19 TenduTV

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Posted 25 March 2011 - 09:21 PM

Does the prohibition on discussing injuries mean that the dancers cannot advise or notify followers that the cast will change for an upcoming show, thereby alerting readers to come see or avoid commuting to see a specific dancer? I would love to know in advance that certain dancers would appear to replace an injured dancer.


My general understanding of similar guidelines is that dancers will be able to discuss their own injury, but not that of others, and will have to wait for casting changes to be made official before disclosing.

#20 Simon G

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:06 AM

Does the prohibition on discussing injuries mean that the dancers cannot advise or notify followers that the cast will change for an upcoming show, thereby alerting readers to come see or avoid commuting to see a specific dancer? I would love to know in advance that certain dancers would appear to replace an injured dancer.



I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.

#21 Simon G

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:12 AM

I don't think anything an individual dancer posts or says would have a significant influence on whether audience members continuing going to the ballet.

Without meaning to be mean, do you think what a fashion designer is allegedly to have said while in an inebriated state would affect what fashioniestas wear?

As we have seen, a few misplaced evil comments can ruin a person, his reputation, and his work. Luckily, the team--in this case a company--simply terminated him.
Words combined with media are powerful.



That's not entirely true, they only terminated his contract when the incontravertible video footage came out. Till that point LVMH and Arnault were standing by Galliano, their major star and cash cow, as being the victim of unsubstantiated slander and rumours. Indeed Galliano was launching a libel action against the victims of one his tirades, as there was only witness statements as to what had gone on that first time.

#22 puppytreats

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:15 AM


Does the prohibition on discussing injuries mean that the dancers cannot advise or notify followers that the cast will change for an upcoming show, thereby alerting readers to come see or avoid commuting to see a specific dancer? I would love to know in advance that certain dancers would appear to replace an injured dancer.



I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.


Simon, Are you suggesting that selling tickets to unsuspecting fans based on misinformation is appropriate, and passing on correct information to prevent misleading the public is good reason for "sacking"? From reading these boards, I have become aware that many audience members carefully select which dancers they wish to see and how they wish to spend their limited funds. Withholding information regarding which dancer will perform, or selling tickets based on promises of one performer when he/she is not available, is fraudulent, even if it financially assists the company.

#23 Simon G

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 05:45 AM



Does the prohibition on discussing injuries mean that the dancers cannot advise or notify followers that the cast will change for an upcoming show, thereby alerting readers to come see or avoid commuting to see a specific dancer? I would love to know in advance that certain dancers would appear to replace an injured dancer.



I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.


Simon, Are you suggesting that selling tickets to unsuspecting fans based on misinformation is appropriate, and passing on correct information to prevent misleading the public is good reason for "sacking"? From reading these boards, I have become aware that many audience members carefully select which dancers they wish to see and how they wish to spend their limited funds. Withholding information regarding which dancer will perform, or selling tickets based on promises of one performer when he/she is not available, is fraudulent, even if it financially assists the company.



Yes, that's exactly what I'm suggesting. That companies be allowed carte blanche to engage in fraudulent, misleading behaviour.

#24 Stecyk

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 07:38 AM

That's not entirely true, they only terminated his contract when the incontravertible video footage came out. Till that point LVMH and Arnault were standing by Galliano, their major star and cash cow, as being the victim of unsubstantiated slander and rumours. Indeed Galliano was launching a libel action against the victims of one his tirades, as there was only witness statements as to what had gone on that first time.

First, I deliberately made no mention of any specific actors. Given that this stuff might be still be unsettled and before the courts, I'd like to avoid any specific references. Second, if what you say is true, then you have served only to prove my points--that is, words and media combined can be lethal. Without a media recording, it was a he said, she said argument. The comments themselves were still toxic and reprehensible, but in doubt to many. Once the doubt was removed, the damage to all was done. And last, this a minor point, please, if you emphasize part of my quote when quoting me, say so. Otherwise, it appears as though I had emphasized something, when I hadn't.

#25 Simon G

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 10:40 AM

That's not entirely true, they only terminated his contract when the incontravertible video footage came out. Till that point LVMH and Arnault were standing by Galliano, their major star and cash cow, as being the victim of unsubstantiated slander and rumours. Indeed Galliano was launching a libel action against the victims of one his tirades, as there was only witness statements as to what had gone on that first time.

First, I deliberately made no mention of any specific actors. Given that this stuff might be still be unsettled and before the courts, I'd like to avoid any specific references. Second, if what you say is true, then you have served only to prove my points--that is, words and media combined can be lethal. Without a media recording, it was a he said, she said argument. The comments themselves were still toxic and reprehensible, but in doubt to many. Once the doubt was removed, the damage to all was done. And last, this a minor point, please, if you emphasize part of my quote when quoting me, say so. Otherwise, it appears as though I had emphasized something, when I hadn't.



I'm sorry but I really don't see your point, and drawing parallels between Alberda & Galliano is a tad specious. Alberda just makes a few silly comments about things which interest him, it only crossed the line when he made a joke about Peter Martins DUI, Galliano (and if it wasn't him who else did you mean, and since the whole affair has been reported at length there's no danger of a class libel action) made comments which in France are illegal regardless of clothes or fashionistas, had Alberda made similar comments on twitter regarding the patrons of NYCB then yes he'd be sacked, and yes it would have a huge impact on the audience of NYCB and wealthy donors many of whom are indeed Jewish. The kick in the funny parts for Christian Dior was Natalie Portman's immediate distancing of herself from Dior, as to whether Galliano's comments would have an impact on his buying demographic, do you honestly think the wealthy Jewish patrons of haute couture would invest in a designer who said their ancestors would be better off gassed or the various captains of industry who do business with Jews want to dress their wives in the clothes of an anti semite?
Portman's immediate actions against her employer kind of signalled the devastating impact Galliano's actions would have on his buying demographic.

AS to the last request (see above emphasising on my part) I'll do my best, but maybe it's time to be a tad less precious, I assumed that anyone reading my response would know it was my emphasising a point I wanted to respond to.

#26 Stecyk

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 12:07 PM

I'm sorry but I really don't see your point, and drawing parallels between Alberda & Galliano is a tad specious.

This conversation betweeen you and me is boring. So I am not going to continue this conversation much further.

If you go back to my initial response, I simply demonstrated that it is possible for others to write or say something and have a dramatic effect on his or her audience or customers. Nothing more, nothing less.

AS to the last request (see above emphasising on my part) I'll do my best, but maybe it's time to be a tad less precious, I assumed that anyone reading my response would know it was my emphasising a point I wanted to respond to.

You know what they say about assuming. Besides, it is proper practice when altering someone's quote to indicate any and all changes.

#27 puppytreats

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Posted 27 March 2011 - 01:27 PM

Simon, Since some readers seem to be missing your tone, intention, and meaning today, including me (see above posts) and it seems to offend, I will be explicit and ask your meaning of the following phrases contained in your last post:

"class libel action" - what exactly is that?

men "dressing their wives" - ???

#28 TenduTV

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 06:31 AM

I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.


This is in fact, not true. This has to do with disclosure of personal health information, and privacy in the workplace. While I won't speculate on whether or not the lack of disclosure could be "gamed" for incremental financial benefit, whether or not it does is irrelevant to the policy itself.

#29 Helene

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 05:23 PM


I daresay it's for precisely this reason that the new guidelines are in place. Where a dancer can pass personal information that will directly impact on attendance and ticket sales - should a dancer's disclosure of third party information harm the company and its financial takings at box office, then that must be a good reason for sacking.


This is in fact, not true. This has to do with disclosure of personal health information, and privacy in the workplace. While I won't speculate on whether or not the lack of disclosure could be "gamed" for incremental financial benefit, whether or not it does is irrelevant to the policy itself.


When NYCB Dancer A gives an interview to New York City Dance Critic B or "Dance Magazine" or writes a book and says "I didn't/can't dance Role 123 because my partner was/is injured/sick/pregnant at the time", is that covered by the same policy? If it is an issue of disclosure of personal health information, then it seems to me that it should apply more to companies themselves than to dancers, since it is a disclosure made by an employer.

#30 TenduTV

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Posted 28 March 2011 - 10:19 PM

When NYCB Dancer A gives an interview to New York City Dance Critic B or "Dance Magazine" or writes a book and says "I didn't/can't dance Role 123 because my partner was/is injured/sick/pregnant at the time", is that covered by the same policy? If it is an issue of disclosure of personal health information, then it seems to me that it should apply more to companies themselves than to dancers, since it is a disclosure made by an employer.


It's hard to respond precisely as you've actually thrown about a dozen different variables into the situation you describe, each with its own nuance (Past or current injury, previously known or not, time to publication, how specific the diagnostic information is being revealed and if someone was pregnant at the time - the outcome is certainly very public or very private).

Nuances make social media policies challenging.

I will say that in the most likely situation that we're discussing here, 1.) there are also legal/HR issues involved in disclosing this information and b.) what we're really talking about is current injuries or health issues, that have not been made public, and such a restriction is ultimately for the benefit and protection of the privacy of the dancers.

Think about it, if you were a dancer and just went down with a knee injury, would you want your company members sharing that information with the world? Would you even want to worry about this information being disclosed?

There are often gray areas when trying to come up with an effective social media policy, but this is not one of them.


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