The Philadelphia Eagles tweaked the National Football League on Twitter this weekend, a reminder that business’ social media policies can create friction even at the highest level.
Under rules established earlier this month and approved by N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell, league teams are not allowed to post videos they film inside their stadiums on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media platform. That preclude teams from creating animated GIFs of exciting plays, a format that had frequently gone viral on social media.
In addition, teams are not allowed to create Facebook Live or Periscope streams that transmit live video to fans. Those options have become popular for other live television programs, with millions of people watching live streams of this year’s presidential debates.
The rationale for the policy is to give the N.F.L. full control over the content created in its stadiums at its games. They also want to encourage fans to visit team websites, which are controlled by the N.F.L., to view highlights of games.
Despite the league’s business case for the change, not all franchises appear to be on board with the new policy. This weekend, the Philadelphia Eagles shared a “flipbook” style animation of stylized football players after every major play.
The result was seemingly surreal – and almost clearly aimed at mocking the new policy. However, the Eagles weren’t willing to actually flout the rule – perhaps because of the high cost for violators.
According to ESPN, teams that violate the policy can face a $25,000 fine for a first offense. That figure would rise to $50,000 for subsequent violations.