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NYC Ballet considers social media guidelinesWall Street Journal


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#31 puppytreats

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 06:45 AM


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.



Dancer A could announce that Dancer B won't dance on the weekend without explaining why, and this would meet the goal of protecting ticket purchasers who want to see Dancer B but not Dancer C, while also advancing the goal of maintaining privacy, without defrauding the consumer, by misleading ticket purchasers into thinking they were buying tickets to see Dancer B. If Dancer B comes back to dance the next week, the ticket purchasers will still have funds available to purchase tickets, which fund have not been spent on tickets to see Dancer C which were not desired. The company may not achieve a financial gain of selling tickets to the less popular Dancer C's performance, but the company will not have lost good will or defrauded its audience, on which it depends and which it serves, either.

#32 Helene

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 08:06 AM

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.

In the article you cited, there are three tenets:

1. It respects the needs of all of an organizationís stakeholders.
2. It recognizes that transparency is essential.
3. It is inherently flexible.

I don't think your comment that speaking about an injury is never gray follows both the need to protect all stakeholders and the need for transparency.

For example, Dancer A has been rehearsing a new role and announces this on Facebook or Twitter. Dancer A does not appear in this role, because I injured my knee in rehearsal, and it's company knowledge since I did it in rehearsal. The new cast will be printed in the program, hence no substitution slip or curtain announcement. Dancer A is interviewed in "The New York Times" before the premiere and is asked "Why aren't you dancing the role?"

According to this social policy, either Dancer A can tell the interviewer that he isn't dancing the role because I suffered a knee injury, because "The New York Times" is not Facebook or Twitter, or these guidelines cover all media, and I can't tell NYT why I didn't dance the role. It also makes little sense that Critic A can find out the info from any source and not disclose the source, and publish it in a book or article, but it can't come from the person it impacted.

I might not want my knee injury to be public knowledge, but I also might want a pony: my injury has impacted a co-worker, and until there is clear law or precedent by case, or there isn't a human resources procedure for discussing injury under any circumstances, which includes the NYT or a documentary, I shouldn't have the right to take away my co-worker's announcement/description of that impact on his/her career. Speculation, on the other hand, is where the nuance comes in; for example, when he posts that I probably injured my knee because I'm anorexic, party all night, or came to rehearsal drunk, as does how I found out about the injury (eyewitnesses or company announcement vs. my best friend telling Dancer B's best friend).

If I am working for a company, and I can't complete a presentation and a co-worker has to give up his/her weekend to do my work, my co-worker has the right to post on Facebook -- the NYT wouldn't be at all interested -- that I came back from a business trip and was too exhausted to finish, or had too much on my plate (the message given to co-worker by me or boss), that co-worker has the right to post that on Facebook. I don't see why it should be any different for Diana Adams' colleagues to discuss Diana Adams' miscarriages and their impact on their careers/the company at length in interviews and memoirs, especially after she's dead and can't comment, than it is for someone to discuss the impact of someone's illness or injury now.

Whether it makes sense to do so is another story. Dancers have to maintain relationships with each other, and regardless of whether what they right is well within policy, they bear the consequences of telling the public, just as they bear the social consequences of passing on supposed secrets among each other. Dancers, like any other co-workers, can be tactful and give just enough info to be contextual, or they can be unthinking or think they are being more clever than they are. They can write about things that only affect them tangentially. What they can't do is claim to be misquoted when they write it on their own.

If anyone should be restricted from disclosing illness or injury to the public from a legal point of view, it should be the employer, and ballet companies do it all the time, if selectively.

#33 TenduTV

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 10:00 AM

For example, Dancer A has been rehearsing a new role and announces this on Facebook or Twitter. Dancer A does not appear in this role, because I injured my knee in rehearsal, and it's company knowledge since I did it in rehearsal. The new cast will be printed in the program, hence no substitution slip or curtain announcement. Dancer A is interviewed in "The New York Times" before the premiere and is asked "Why aren't you dancing the role?"


That's the dancer disclosing their own information. Different. As far as the specifics on how this information is disclosed (slips, press releases, etc), I can't comment on the merits of how each company handles disseminating the information.

According to this social policy, either Dancer A can tell the interviewer that he isn't dancing the role because I suffered a knee injury, because "The New York Times" is not Facebook or Twitter, or these guidelines cover all media, and I can't tell NYT why I didn't dance the role. It also makes little sense that Critic A can find out the info from any source and not disclose the source, and publish it in a book or article, but it can't come from the person it impacted.


If implemented correctly, the guidelines should cover all media, and make no differentiation between a public fb account or a twitter account versus the NYT. Also, I'm not saying that these disclosures or rules are necessarily followed as written. I know quite a few writers who conduct interviews without going through "proper" channels.


I might not want my knee injury to be public knowledge, but I also might want a pony: my injury has impacted a co-worker, and until there is clear law or precedent by case, or there isn't a human resources procedure for discussing injury under any circumstances, which includes the NYT or a documentary, I shouldn't have the right to take away my co-worker's announcement/description of that impact on his/her career. Speculation, on the other hand, is where the nuance comes in; for example, when he posts that I probably injured my knee because I'm anorexic, party all night, or came to rehearsal drunk, as does how I found out about the injury (eyewitnesses or company announcement vs. my best friend telling Dancer B's best friend).


1. There is law.
2. There is HR procedure.
3. The situations you describe are unlikely to be covered by the policy, since they typically occur far after the fact.


If I am working for a company, and I can't complete a presentation and a co-worker has to give up his/her weekend to do my work, my co-worker has the right to post on Facebook -- the NYT wouldn't be at all interested -- that I came back from a business trip and was too exhausted to finish, or had too much on my plate (the message given to co-worker by me or boss), that co-worker has the right to post that on Facebook. I don't see why it should be any different for Diana Adams' colleagues to discuss Diana Adams' miscarriages and their impact on their careers/the company at length in interviews and memoirs, especially after she's dead and can't comment, than it is for someone to discuss the impact of someone's illness or injury now.


Generally speaking, a FB personal account is a different beast, because there is much more control over the information. The type of situation you're talking about actually does have a recent precedent and IS protected: http://www.foxbusine...w-water-cooler/ The nuance comes in when you have dancers with FB accounts where they aren't protective of their privacy, and are "friending" fans, journalists and people whom they don't know. With dancers more so than typical private individuals, there is a tendency to accept friend requests from a lot of different people who aren't personal friends, which means the information is being made public. As it relates to Diana Adams, there is a difference between discussing something after it's known, versus being the one to make that disclosure as it's happening.

Whether it makes sense to do so is another story. Dancers have to maintain relationships with each other, and regardless of whether what they right is well within policy, they bear the consequences of telling the public, just as they bear the social consequences of passing on supposed secrets among each other. Dancers, like any other co-workers, can be tactful and give just enough info to be contextual, or they can be unthinking or think they are being more clever than they are. They can write about things that only affect them tangentially. What they can't do is claim to be misquoted when they write it on their own.

If anyone should be restricted from disclosing illness or injury to the public from a legal point of view, it should be the employer, and ballet companies do it all the time, if selectively.


On this last point, it's not a question of employer or employee, as they both fall under the umbrella of "workplace", and those who are in the workplace can and should be governed when it comes to disclosing information learned or generated within the workplace environment. Whether it comes from a dancer operating in the workplace, or a PR staffer is not a distinction that should (or can) be made. And yes, even in a twitter environment, de facto misquoting can still take place, because a single tweet can easily be taken out of its context and given a different interpretation(which is exactly what happened with one of the more "controversial" tweets in this case).

Ultimately, one of the reasons that I favor social media policies/guidelines is that it's a great opportunity to refresh everyone's understanding of what some of these policies are, and what the thought process and legal implications are behind them.

#34 carbro

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:45 PM

If anyone should be restricted from disclosing illness or injury to the public from a legal point of view, it should be the employer, and ballet companies do it all the time, if selectively.


On this last point, it's not a question of employer or employee, as they both fall under the umbrella of "workplace", and those who are in the workplace can and should be governed when it comes to disclosing information learned or generated within the workplace environment. Whether it comes from a dancer operating in the workplace, or a PR staffer is not a distinction that should (or can) be made.

Not quite. The PR staffer is a professional and knows whether the affected dancer has okayed publicizing his/her condition and acts accordingly. A performing colleague is less likely to understand the "rules" or implications, nor should s/he be expected to.

Ultimately, one of the reasons that I favor social media policies/guidelines is that it's a great opportunity to refresh everyone's understanding of what some of these policies are, and what the thought process and legal implications are behind them.

This is true. But I can't help but find it ironic that instead of dealing with this quietly in a company meeting, the Powers decided to take it on so publicly in the press. :toot:

#35 TenduTV

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 05:27 AM

The PR staffer is a professional and knows whether the affected dancer has okayed publicizing his/her condition and acts accordingly. A performing colleague is less likely to understand the "rules" or implications, nor should s/he be expected to.


Absolutely.

This is true. But I can't help but find it ironic that instead of dealing with this quietly in a company meeting, the Powers decided to take it on so publicly in the press. :toot:


I could be overinterpreting the language of the original article, but my sense is that the draft policy was leaked.

#36 GretchenStar

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Posted 08 April 2011 - 06:46 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.


I'm not sure if you're referring to an actual or hypothetical situation (I have no fashion sense whatsoever, so I'm not familiar with the fashion industry), but I think it would largely depend on the situation. I'm going to venture out on a limb and say no - it likely would not affect fashionistas. However, depending on what the comments were (say if they were racist, derogatory, vulgar, politically insensitive, morally outrageous, etc), there may be a little bit of fallout (say if some fashionistas started a boycott or something).

What I meant about audience turnout not being affected by one dancer's comment was meant as a comparison to pro athletes and their comments. In sports, the winners are not predetermined. If an athlete alleges that referee Bob is fixing games, what is the point of going to watch Bob call fouls and goaltending when there are none? The situation is different in ballet (and arts). There's no "endpoint", so to speak - you're there to watch the process and the story (or lack of story, as the case may be). Even if dancer Joe alleges that his AD was biased and picks favorites, would that affect the production itself? The only examples I can think of where a dancer's comment may hurt audience turnout would be either a) blatantly offensive comments (like the categories I stated above) or b) dancer states that the production (choreography, music selection, dancing, costumes, whatever) are hideous and that no one should waste his/her time coming to see the ballet.

#37 Stecyk

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Posted 09 April 2011 - 08:08 AM

I'm not sure if you're referring to an actual or hypothetical situation (I have no fashion sense whatsoever, so I'm not familiar with the fashion industry), but I think it would largely depend on the situation. I'm going to venture out on a limb and say no - it likely would not affect fashionistas. However, depending on what the comments were (say if they were racist, derogatory, vulgar, politically insensitive, morally outrageous, etc), there may be a little bit of fallout (say if some fashionistas started a boycott or something).

What I meant about audience turnout not being affected by one dancer's comment was meant as a comparison to pro athletes and their comments. In sports, the winners are not predetermined. If an athlete alleges that referee Bob is fixing games, what is the point of going to watch Bob call fouls and goaltending when there are none? The situation is different in ballet (and arts). There's no "endpoint", so to speak - you're there to watch the process and the story (or lack of story, as the case may be). Even if dancer Joe alleges that his AD was biased and picks favorites, would that affect the production itself? The only examples I can think of where a dancer's comment may hurt audience turnout would be either a) blatantly offensive comments (like the categories I stated above) or b) dancer states that the production (choreography, music selection, dancing, costumes, whatever) are hideous and that no one should waste his/her time coming to see the ballet.

We agree GretchenStar that, depending upon the severity of the comments, comments might adversely affect audience turnout. I am sure you and I and others would agree on the extreme cases. It's where the lines are blurred and gray that it becomes more difficult.

Thank you for your comment.

#38 Stecyk

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Posted 15 June 2011 - 12:10 PM

As I was reading another article, I thought of this thread.

Secrets From Apple's Genius Bar: Full Loyalty, No Negativity
Wall Street Journal Online (subscription might be required).
15 June 2011
By YUKARI IWATANI KANE And IAN SHERR

With their airy interiors and attractive lighting, Apple's stores project a carefree and casual atmosphere. Yet Apple keeps a tight lid on how they operate. Employees are ordered to not discuss rumors about products, technicians are forbidden from prematurely acknowledging widespread glitches and anyone caught writing about the Cupertino, Calif., company on the Internet is fired, according to current and former employees.

[emphasis added]

I am not surprised. Apple is famous for keeping a lid on its information and maintaining or elevating its reputation.

#39 Stecyk

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 07:34 AM

Here's another article for those interested:

A recent New York court ruling alerts employers about social media policy

Earlier this month, a federal judge handed down a ruling (PDF) that the Buffalo, New York based non-profit Hispanics United of Buffalo must reinstate five employees that were fired for posting comments about their workplace to their personal Facebook pages.



#40 Meesnell

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 09:06 AM

I just briefly scanned over this thread, and I have mixed feelings. I agree with not sharing information about other dancers' physical ailments, injuries, etc. over whatever desired media outlet. That is a violation of HIPAA law. I work in the healthcare industry, and intentionally disclosing someones personal information without his or her consent (as innocent as it may be) is a federal crime, with fees and jail time and lose of license... not good. The evolution of technology is making life more difficult yet easy at the same time, Paradoxical...
But, the brief part I read about changing the Chinese Tea and Arabian Coffee in the Nutcracker... That's chancging a tradition thats been that way for how many hundred years, and didnt offend anyone.... now everyones too worried about being politically correct, to the point we WILL become "IBM Machines" lol, i like how I tied two different threads together at the end :)
Well, thats my take...

Meesh

"It takes an athlete to dance, but an artist to be a dancer."



#41 Stecyk

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 03:41 PM

For those interested, an article by Melanie Trottman of the WSJ: When a Facebook Rant Gets You Fired.

Workers fired or disciplined for bad-mouthing employers on social-networking sites are fighting back using a decades-old labor law—a new front in the murky battle over what workers can do and say online.

Since the rise of Facebook and Twitter, companies believed they had the right to fire employees who posted complaints or hostile or rude comments online about their employers.

But in recent months, workers have sought to solve their very modern employment predicament by using the law that kick-started the U.S. labor movement: the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. The law gives private-sector employees certain rights to complain about pay, safety and other working conditions. It doesn't protect simple griping.



#42 innopac

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 07:35 PM

Social Media

A new issue for dancers to be mindful of -- prospective employers asking for access to an individual's facebook account. . .

http://www.smh.com.a...0321-1vioi.html

#43 Helene

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 08:47 PM

I wouldn't want to work for a company that violates the terms & conditions of a site or asks someone to violate their user agreement, short of having a subpoena to view a site, and I certainly wouldn't donate to a 501-c-3 organization who is disclosed as having done so.

#44 Stecyk

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 05:38 PM

Here's yet another sad tale. Justine Sacco, the communications director for InterActiveCorp, is alleged to have made some rather unfortunate comments on Twitter that resulted in her termination of employment.

 

For those interested, you can read the New York Times article A Twitter Message About AIDS, Followed by a Firing and an Apology. If the article is unavailable, you can find lots of other stories by Googling her name.

 

 

On Friday, IAC officials quickly responded to the Twitter post, putting out a statement that called it “an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC.” But it said it could not contact Ms. Sacco. “Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”

By Saturday afternoon, Ms. Sacco was no longer an employee at IAC. The company’s statement also said:

 

There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.

 



#45 Amy Reusch

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Posted 22 December 2013 - 06:54 PM

Considering that she was a PUBLIC RELATIONS EXECUTIVE, they are well rid of her!


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