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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Past Links 2011

Danielle DeVor

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Diane-that is in most contracts here as well. While I do think his tweet was meant as tongue in cheek. I think where our youth (and not always just youth) have missed the problem with using Twitter, Facebook and such to broadcast feelings/experiences is that one can do so among friends and only friends (real ones) and it would be thought of as jesting. However, doing so on Twitter or Facebook is more like standing at the microphone at a Steelers game and making those same statements. Not everyone attached to their account is a real, honest to goodness friend but a bystander with personal access.

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A side note. On top of these services being public, I was told in a seminar in the fall that anything that is ever posted to them can be retrieved. Truly -- anything. It doesn't matter whether you delete a photo or remove a post. There is always a way to have it pulled up again (or for someone else to have it pulled up in a litigation context).

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There was recently a libel court case in UK about posting on FB. Although the defence was that this was for friends not the public in general, the judge didn't accept this. To summarise, the ruling was that anything published on a social network was deemed to be available for the general public and the defendant was found guilty.

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I don't follow Mr Alberda on Twitter, but I don't see anything wrong with these two tweets. The drink driving offence was heavily publicised elsewhere and there is nothing private about a character who appears onstage in a ballet (one which I also thought was a pretty offensive stereotype when I saw the ballet last year).


If he was posting details of people's salaries or photos of them getting changed or even things the boss had said in rehearsals then I agree that his judgement could be criticised. But dancers are thinking beings and denying them any means of expressing critical views on public matters seems ridiculous.

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I think NYCB is going about it the wrong way. They need to look at many of the hi-tech companies, such as IBM, Oracle, Google, etc. who, instead of restricting their employees from using social media, they encourage employees to use it as a way to "spread the word" via viral marketing on their company's products & solutions. BUT, they also issue social media guidelines telling employees the Do's and Don'ts of using Facebook, Twitter, etc. both as a representative of the company, and as a private citizen.


These companies are smart in that a great way to market their products on the social media sites is through their employees. NYCB would be wise to follow this example by encouraging their dancers to rave about NYCB online -- but with some common-sense guidelines.

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My sense from the article is that they are, in fact, simply drafting guidelines for the use of social media. And finding a way to limit their own legal exposure in the event an employee strays to far away for acceptable use.

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That was my impression as well that it was more for guidelines and acceptable protocol. While I see nothing wrong with his tweet in terms of what he stated, according to DDs first contract she signed, that sort of tweet could have been grounds for dismissal. Seeing nothing wrong with it and it being smart business sense are two completely different things. :thumbsup:

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I suspect if this were taken to court, the justices would rule that tweeting, posting on Facebook, etc are protected by the First Amendment. The first time somone is fired as a result of one of these policies and it goes to court, my guess is that all such policies will either be struck down are become very limited in scope.


People have been fired. I know of two school teachers in our state who have been fired as a result of FB postings or photos and there was a student in our state who was recently expelled for spreading a false rumor about a teacher on FB.

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Thanks for the clarification cheetah and Momof3darlings!


And I thought the following NY Times tech article which came out just this morning was timely to this discussion:


"When the Marketing Reach of Social Media Backfires"



As well as this article:


"U.C.L.A. Student’s Video Rant Against Asians Fuels Firestorm"



Reminds me of the old adage from our mothers that still rings true, "if you can't say something nice about someone, then don't say anything at all." :-)

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I also recalled after reading this thread that in contracts I have had with a certain performance arts organization we also had clauses in there about using the name of the company, material we had worked on outside of company business. We were NOT allowed. That company considers blogs, FB, etc. to be PRESS and they have expressed that to us in contracts and in person. So according to contracts we were not allowed to post or publish anything anywhere using the name of the company or material developed in the company without their permission. We were not even allowed to speak to the press without their permission. I don't think that if it is in the contract that people can make the case of "freedom of speech." I'm not a lawyer, but if you sign the contract and it forbids you to mention on FB, blogs, in print, etc. the name of the company or business of the company, then you are breaching your contract if you do so. IMO it's not too much to ask to keep company business and name out of the limelight without permission. The person has the right to turn down the contract if they think that it curtails their freedom. (There will always be someone behind to take their place). I understand any company's reason for doing this. They need to control what kind of publicity they get and it is impossible to do so if you allow everyone to post/publish whatever and wherever they want.


Edited to add: Regarding companies that are encouraging social media by their employees. I personally don't agree with that--but if you look at those companies they are huge companies that work in the technology fields--IBM, Google, Oracle. These companies are wealthy and have plenty of personnel available and skilled (and have the technology) to police Twitter and the internet for negative publicity and for negative posts by their own employees. NYCB and any other arts organization is holding on by a shoestring. Some companies barely have enough personnel to handle the running of the company let alone have the money to hire someone to be in charge of policing the social media.

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I actually agree. Terminations become a result of breach of contract. There really are huge implications for a company. Let's say a cast party is held. Someone posts photos on facebook. The name of the company is used. Activity is portrayed in those photos that is not, well, perhaps completely legal (to be vague). Who bears the legal responsibility of that behavior? Does it fall back on the company?


I think these are the types of scenarios that schools have been looking at, in particular when students are in school uniforms or at school events. Or in one local case, underage drinking "clearly" portrayed at the house of an adult working for the school system. It's for those reason that sanctions are made against the students and legal action taken against adults.


Of course, then there are cases taken to the extreme where students are punished and everyone is left wondering why. Photos can be doctored. People can easily hack your social media sites. It becomes very complicated.


The topic of social media and first amendment rights was actually a month long discussion in one of my son's government classes last year. And that was only at the 8th grade level. So at least the discussions are being presented and the dangers and potential pitfalls of social media are being discussed.

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I am glad to hear that they are discussing it in a government class. It is important for students to have this information as it truly relates to rights not just that they can do or say what they please whereever they please.

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"...Addressing the struggles-and triumphs-of boys and men who dance has been at the forefront of my mission for years now..."-Rhee Gold


I just watched this, I would recommend it for anybody who would like a perspective of the male dancer and what they go through...enjoy



Edited by ballet_dad_
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