Washington Post issues new social media restrictions

The Washington Post has joined the ranks of newspapers and online publications to take strides to restrict how its writers can use social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. According to Paid Content, Senior Editor Milton Coleman sent a memo to staff on Friday afternoon outlining the paper’s new social media policy, including a stipulation “all Washington Post journalists relinquish some of the personal privileges of private citizens” when they begin writing or editing for the newspaper.

Many critics have seen this as a blatant abuse of personal freedom and say that the Washington Post has missed the point of social media by trying to take away the “personal” touches from their writers’ content. But the paper is taking the point of view (echoed by Gannett, Dow Jones and others) that in terms of their writers, “any content associated with them in an online social network is, for practical purposes, the equivalent of what appears beneath their bylines in the newspaper or on our website.”

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