Think before you tweet

I should be a public relations guy. No doubt about it—whoever is doing it now is doing a disastrous job. There are numerous examples of athletes getting in trouble on Twitter for posting things they simply should not. I have Rashard Mendenhall on my fantasy football team and thank God you don’t get points off for dumb tweets. Athletes, and celebrities in general, need to be constantly checking with their PR people on whether they should be tweeting what’s on their mind. From Anthony Weiner’s…well…weiner to Ray Allen posting some seriously nasty stuff in what appears to be part of his sexting fantasies.

And boy do I love the “hacked” excuse. I suppose you could get hacked…but the excuse has gotten a bit lame. And sometimes it’s so easy to see through the “hacked” claim. Here comes Roger Mason Jr., VP of the Players’ Union, who tweeted “Looking like there’s gonna be a season. How u” following one of the meetings between the owners and union. It’s obviously important for both sides of the negotiations to remain as tight-lipped as possible in order to retain all leverage possible. His tweet was deleted quickly and then the hacked excuse popped up.

I'm doing just swell, about that tweet...

I don’t buy it for a single second, which is why I am far more optimistic that we will have an NBA season. Yes, I’m ignoring all of the serious issues that still lay ahead for the lockout negotiations and simply believing that Mason’s tweet is a clear indication that we’re going to have a season.

There’s two reasons I don’t buy the “hacked” line: [A] Mason is the vice president while Derek Fisher is the president. If I’m hacking an account I’m going after Fisher who is a higher profile player with over 725,000 more followers (!) [B] The “how u” slip up. Clearly Mason meant to send a text message to a teammate or friend or even his agent. How can you explain the how u???

Who is hacking Roger Mason Jr’s account? You need a computer genius, basketball fanatic (how many people know that Roger Mason is the VP of the Players’ Union?) to try to crack accounts. Better question—if this is do-able, why don’t we see way more of it? If I could hack accounts…let’s say it took me 4-5 hours…I would do it a lot. Crack in LeBron’s and admit that I’m a choker, bust into Kevin Durant’s and destroy his goodie-goodie image and I’ll be dead honest, I would probably try every thing to try to ruin Eddie House’s career (could I fit a homophobic, racist, xenophobic and misogynist comment in 140 characters?).

[Sidenote: I did some digging and there are lots of sites that show you how to hack into Twitter accounts. Some of them look way too tech-heavy and some require downloads. So I’ll either need to spend hours toiling away at something that may never work, or download what’s 95% likely to be a virus. Hmm…how much do I hate Eddie House?]

Look, I believe that some Twitter accounts are hacked. Roger Mason Jr’s didn’t seem like a hack job to me – and it turned out it wasn’t so how in the world did he do that? It’s not Anthony Weiner-level dumb—but it’s pretty close.

Twitter is an amazing tool. I used to bash it all the time for being Facebook Minus Everything Good About Facebook. But following my favourite basketball writers, players and comedians has become part of my daily routine. It’s an amazing resource for quick, instant updates. During the NBA finals, I would get constant injury updates, analysis and stats that would compliment the game. I’ve said millions of time about how they need to enhance the in-game atmosphere at basketball games by having a scrolling Twitter feed on one of the scoreboards during breaks in the game. Follow the local beat writers, bloggers and any ESPN/national media covering the game. No reason not to.

If you won't say it to the media, don't say it on Twitter

[Sidenotes: [A] I’ve also had the idea to have injured players tweet from the bench. [B] Wouldn’t baseball be amazing if the players could tweet from the dugout. There’s so much down time. Could you imagine in between pitches you getting updates from the dugout. [C] How far are we from having the managers and base coaches text each other for signals? Smiley, winkey, heart will soon mean steal third.]

Anyway, back to the point, while Twitter has its distinct advantages that other social media does not have—it becomes dangerous because people don’t always think when they publish. Hire someone to screen your tweets or just don’t tweet at all.

I’d be glad to accept a position as a PR analyst. First thing I’d say is keep your mouth shut, your opinions to yourself and your clothes on and you’ll be fine. Oh, sorry, I haven’t been polite, first I’d ask how u?

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