David Warner’s Twitter Tirade Becomes an Instant Social Media Cautionary Tale

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In the last few hours, yet another Twitter-storm has sent the traditional media into a spin and sports administrators into damage control.

Let’s go through the time line of events and then take a look at what all involved parties can learn from the very public event.

Australian Cricketer David Warner (@davidwarner31) is currently taking part in the Indian Premier League cricket competition.
He woke up this morning to an article written by News Ltd journalist Robert “Crash” Craddock (@CrashCraddock1) who highlighted the pitfalls of the world’s most lucrative cricket competition.
His article included several viewpoints, including this one: “Australian coaches never enjoy it when their players go to the IPL because they often return fat.”
So, when Warner read this article, he decided to share his displeasure with Craddock via Twitter:

Shock me @crashcraddock1talking shit about ipl jealous prick. Get a real job. All you do is bag people. #getalife
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) May 17, 2013

Craddock’s colleague, Malcolm Conn (@MalcolmConn), took issue with Warner’s tweet and responded with this:

@davidwarner31 cricket is a real job? Please. Most people pay to play. Million dollar cricketers milking the IPL are hardly the best judges.
— Malcolm Conn (@malcolmconn) May 17, 2013

Now, this is where it took off with Warner firing a response back:

@malcolmconn coming from you champion all you do is talk shit as well. What about encouraging Aus players rather then bagging them.
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) May 17, 2013

This went back and forth for a while, including this equally inflammatory remark from Conn:

@davidwarner31 You lose 4-0 in India, don’t make a run, and you want to be tickled on the tummy? Win the Ashes and get back to me.
— Malcolm Conn (@malcolmconn) May 17, 2013

It got a little more heated too:

@malcolmconn no wonder peopleDon’t buy your shit.
— David Warner (@davidwarner31) May 17, 2013

@davidwarner31 Actually they do buy my papers. 1 mill around the country on week days and 2 mill on Sundays. You’ll get a regular mention.
— Malcolm Conn (@malcolmconn) May 17, 2013

To view the full exchange, visit this Storify link.

What can we learn from this spirited exchange?

Firstly, we need to consider all the perspectives involved in this event.

If I am Malcolm’s editor, I’m probably ecstatic that this has happened as it’ll probably lead to a few more papers being sold in the next 48 hours.

If I am Cricket Australia, I’m probably not too pleased that one if its players (and employees) is dealing with an important stakeholder in this manner.

If I am the player, I’m probably feeling a little isolated, wondering why journalists can give their opinions but players can’t do that same.

If I’m the journalist, I’m probably thinking the player was out of line, even though I baited him and got involved in a discussion not directly aimed at me.

How will each party deal with the issue?

It is likely that Warner will be fined by Cricket Australia for not complying with its social media guidelines and lighting a very public (and unnecessary) fire.

But, the journalist in question also needs to take some responsibility for firing back and extending the discussion (although he will probably say that is what his job is about).

This episode will most likely become one of those cautionary tales that sports administrators bring up in their yearly social media training sessions with players, highlighting the issues with airing opinions in such a public forum.

For me, it is yet another reminder that constant education is the key for anyone providing advice to high profile individuals who participate in the social media space.

And, discipline, which is a character trait required to make it to an elite level of any professional trade, is a non-negotiable in the social media space as well.

Image via thenational.ae

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