NFL, U.S. Marines among those cracking down on 'Tweets' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

NFL, U.S. Marines among those cracking down on 'Tweets'

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WASHINGTON. - Twitter has made its impact as the latest talking tool of the social networking scene, and now the web site is struggling to go corporate.

Many corporations and businesses are using Twitter as a communication and advertising engine.

The Chevy Volt has its own Twitter page for the electric car that has yet to hit the market.

Still, not all are fans.

Many storied institutions, including the National Football League, the White House and U.S. Marines are trying to limit or ban the use of Twitter.

"It's all about trying to control information flow, right. All these big, old organizations want to figure out what to do with this new tool and how to manage when all their employees can suddenly talk to the world," says Wired Magazine's Noah Shachtman.

Many executives fear that also means they can talk to the world in an instant about business, trade secrets and strategies.

The NFL is looking to include Twitter in its game-day policy that already bans teams and personnel from using cell phones and electronic devices on the sidelines and locker rooms.

Some football teams have already put their own policies into practice.

In Miami the Dolphins ban goes beyond the team.

The media can only tweet for the first 20 minutes of training camp.

Fans entering the practice field are also warned that there will be no tweeting, blogging or texting at all.

"That's probably a little much. I think they need to relax a little bit. If they want to endorse that over their players, that's probably cool," says Dolphin fan Scott Michael.

The U.S. Marines banned Twitter and all social media sites over concerns the network would be vulnerable to attacks by viruses and hackers.

At the same time, many at the highest ranks are finding Twitter to be a useful tool on the ground.

"The military has a very love-hate relationship with social media. You've got the top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, he's got thousands of followers on Twitter, and he's tweeting almost everyday," says Shachtman.

The Air Force also recently tracked Twitter messages, along with other social sites, to gauge the public backlash this spring following the Air Force One photo shoot fly-over over Manhattan

It's a sign, no doubt, that Twitter nation has arrived, but, how it will be used is still up for debate.

The Defense Department has created its own cyber-command and is reviewing the policy for all four branches of the military.
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