UNC Twitter ban raises concerns with other sites

October 15, 2010 2:06:25 PM PDT
Now that Twitter is out for UNC's football team, other popular social networking sites are getting a closer look.

Could the ban affect all UNC athletes?

ABC11 Eyewitness News first reported questionable photos on a UNC football player's Facebook page in 2008.

Then shocking pictures of a white player in blackface at a Halloween party raised eyebrows and promises from UNC's athletic department to better police social networking sites.

Fast forward years later and there's an all out ban of Twitter for all UNC football players after tweets led to suspensions and a NCAA investigation.

"Maybe they [student athletes] should get like a warning before they make a decision on that," one student told ABC11.

But some students think Coach Butch Davis' new hard line is in order.

"When you're coming to a school on a scholarship, getting all this money, you gotta do what the coach says," UNC student Kelvin Martinez said.

For now, the ban on Twitter doesn't include other social media. Instead, the athletic department is enforcing its longstanding policy.

In addition to spelling out what types of posts are prohibited, it also states, "Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members' social networking sites and postings."

That rule applies to all UNC sports but does not include a Twitter ban on all sports.

"You can't say that one team one player can do this and another can do this," student Shaniqua Marlow said. "I think all athletic teams should have one guideline."

At this time, UNC's athletic department says Facebook, Myspace and other sites are fair game. Legally, it may have to stay that way.

"I think it should be limited in what they say, 'may be controlled,' but I don't think it should be taken away because it's like a freedom of speech basically," student Marseille Mosher said.

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