Social Media - Referees

SimonSmith


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There is a theme emerging in USA Rugby that referees, in order to help their cause and extend their network, should be maximizing their presence on social media (which, at the moment, means Facebook)

I don't know how many of you frequent, or even visit occasionally, the USA Referees' page. It is, to my mind a little like throwing Christians to the lions and the mob.

I am also in heated disagreement with the premise that Coaches can identify referees on that page, criticize the referee, and then have the Big Heid High Yin hang the referee out to dry by telling him what he should have done.

I've advised my junior, ambitious referees to be very mindful of what they post there and to not do anything that would let the semi informed mob loose on them.

Am I missing something? Is this just my jeremiad, or do USA R have it wrong?

(There's a MUCH longer post brewing about the state of USA Rugby and the Referee Office, but I'm still sober and the post is just percolating)
 

Dickie E


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we have a closed group on FB just for referees (& my wife) to participate in. Assessments, etc do not appear on this
 

ChuckieB

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There is a theme emerging in USA Rugby that referees, in order to help their cause and extend their network, should be maximizing their presence on social media (which, at the moment, means Facebook)

I don't know how many of you frequent, or even visit occasionally, the USA Referees' page. It is, to my mind a little like throwing Christians to the lions and the mob.

I am also in heated disagreement with the premise that Coaches can identify referees on that page, criticize the referee, and then have the Big Heid High Yin hang the referee out to dry by telling him what he should have done.

I've advised my junior, ambitious referees to be very mindful of what they post there and to not do anything that would let the semi informed mob loose on them.

Am I missing something? Is this just my jeremiad, or do USA R have it wrong?

(There's a MUCH longer post brewing about the state of USA Rugby and the Referee Office, but I'm still sober and the post is just percolating)

I think in this day and age there is a push for more transparency and accountability. Referees bodies cannot see themselves as being immune and should respond accordingly. So perhaps the right idea, but how best to achieve that while maintaining some sense of authority and integrity in this "post truth" world which is being fuelled by social media, I don't know?

As well as facebook, forums are themselves prime examples. Intention is great but debate often results in more polarised views and extreme opinions which some may see as unhealthy and destructive in the long term.
 

Drift


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Closed group. Makes it a hell of a lot easier compared to having a fully public group.
 

DocY


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We have a closed group.

Regarding abuse, we're encouraged to report any online crap (a club taking to facebook or twitter to complain about a referee, usually) as we would any abuse on a match day.

I don't know if having an open group would be a bit like entrapment, though :)
 

didds

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I think in this day and age there is a push for more transparency and accountability.


... I saw this yesterday which while not nsocial media nonetheless hints at what Simon was talking about at the OP..

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/golf/201...-4-shot-penalty-loses-major-tv-viewer-alerts/

"A television viewer had alerted the LPGA on Sunday that the American had marked her ball then replaced it in the wrong place on the 17th hole a day earlier, ". This after she, her opponenet, and the official that watches TV etc all missed the misdemeanour.

Opening cans of worms etc...

didds
 

ChuckieB

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.......and a closed group can get quickly to a stage where it can be undermining to the vision/objective of accountability and transparency.

The same problem with expansion of social media government and politics. One might question how far it can go before it actually stops being in the "public interest". Whatever that is.

Whatever one's view of the politics of the world at the moment, perhaps taking the US presidency for example, I might suggest that such a public war with words, in the arena of media/social media, is currently serving to undermine the "Presidency" itself and, an unintended and negative consequence.

That is an extreme example but serves to illustrate a point that it might not actually be a good idea.
 

Pegleg

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THere are rules on comment. Whilst being open is a laudable aim we have to be careful of breaching the rules. I did so on here unwittingly a short time ago.

It is probably best not to comment on open sites like face book where the trolls can draw you into an illjudged comment after beer or three. On here? Well in the Ref only sections, the trolls can get their due kicking.

We all do well to remember that much of this ste is open!
 

didds

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Well in the Ref only sections, the trolls can get their due kicking.


Ah,... that is why some days I feel bruised!

didds (non referee and so not able to see the referees only section :)
 

Lee Lifeson-Peart


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What interests the public tend not to be the same thing as the public interest.
 

beckett50


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.......and a closed group can get quickly to a stage where it can be undermining to the vision/objective of accountability and transparency.

I disagree, as someone who runs a page and closed group for a motorcycle training organisation here in the UK.

The Closed Group enables you to vet and only permit members whom you know to be genuine and will adhere to the ethos of the organisation.

An Open Group is fully public and can be used to publicise various events and comments. For example, the recent decision by the 6N organisers to refer the France -v- Wales match to some quango which will investigate the merits of the French prop HIA replacement.

I recall when I started referee being told to not even tell the coach/club where I lived but to be vague and just give the environs. I was puzzled, but then I have never had to look for anything worse than a bomb under my car when parked outside my girl-friend's flat back in the late '80s!!

It is a moot point, and one in which I find myself agreeing with sentiments of Simon.
 

Phil E


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Ah,... that is why some days I feel bruised!

didds (non referee and so not able to see the referees only section :)

It's where we just talk about you didds, there's nothing about refereeing in there :biggrin:
 

Rich_NL

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.......and a closed group can get quickly to a stage where it can be undermining to the vision/objective of accountability and transparency.

Accountability and transparency are down to organisational culture, not technology. If that's a problem, it's your society that's at fault, and an open page won't do anything to help; all it does is provide one more communication path to certain audiences.
 

ChuckieB

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Accountability and transparency are down to organisational culture, not technology. If that's a problem, it's your society that's at fault, and an open page won't do anything to help; all it does is provide one more communication path to certain audiences.

And down to the individual.

If you buy into a culture or an ethos then that's fine. You are then prepared to abide by their rules, good or bad.

I suspect Facebook, despite its intentions perhaps, has become plagued by people who don't have the interest in playing by the rules or perhaps don't even have the capacity to rationalise any negative impact have they are having when they get involved in certain activities, e.g. trolling. This we are learning, perhaps to our cost, an unintended conseunce of some of the technology we now have access to.

Other Media streams or groups should certainly not see themselves as being immune to this or other issues that might arise.

For instance, I might perceive a closed group as a group of individuals, often with vested or similar interests and views, that decide their own joining rules and agenda and are then only accountable to themselves.

A bit like people might, rightly or wrongly, view the Freemasons or Muirfield Golf club (until the last vote at least).

And hardly to perceived by many as inclusive or transparent whatever the desired or honourable intent to start with.

Is this healthy in the long term? Not to some, and certainly unlikely to be healthy in the eyes of those who tout absolute freedom of speech as a benefit of social media.

So a challenge, and something I am happening to dicuss with my kids as I try to get them to the point where they decide for themseoves it is probably not the wisest of thing to consider living their lives in the public eye of social media. It could end up in a loss of control of their lives.
 
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ChuckieB

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..........

I've advised my junior, ambitious referees to be very mindful of what they post there and to not do anything that would let the semi informed mob loose on them.

Am I missing something? Is this just my jeremiad, or do USA R have it wrong?

...........

As I alluded to, as regards the situation with my kids, that's about all you can do. A conservative approach on my part perhaps but as a body made up individuals, they should perhaps thinking about it more systematically and developing a framework for the opportunity, i.e. objective, policy, protocols, guidance etc. It's not right to just leave it to the individual to find their way.

Understandably, E-safety is certainly a hot topic in schools these days. Informal bodies though are not bound by such requirements but certainly need to be wise to the fact.
 

Rich_NL

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Sorry, I don't understand the point you're making.

If people view absolute freedom of speech as an inherent good then they won't like closed groups, obviously. It doesn't really bother me if the existence of such leads someone to conclude the local refs society is a shadowy cabal, as long as there is some demonstration of accountability and transparency. There will always be loudmouthed nutters.
 

ChuckieB

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Sorry, I don't understand the point you're making.

If people view absolute freedom of speech as an inherent good then they won't like closed groups, obviously. It doesn't really bother me if the existence of such leads someone to conclude the local refs society is a shadowy cabal, as long as there is some demonstration of accountability and transparency. There will always be loudmouthed nutters.

Unfortunately it is often the loud mouthed nutters, as happens in the political arenas, who end up stealing the show and spoiling the whole thing for everybody.
 
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