Folks in Hollywood are going to have to mind more than their P's and Q's as studios are starting to crack down on employees using social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook in an attempt to curb information leaking out ahead of schedule.
Some studios have already begun the crackdown with Disney including clauses in their contracts citing "interactive media such as Facebook, Twitter, or any other interactive social network or personal blog" as a means for breaching confidentially. DreamWorks is another studio to jump on the social network clampdown by cautioning their employees not to circumvent ("cirsumvent" - Gob Bluth) the company's press releases through the use of "a social networking site, blog or other Internet-type site."
This is not too surprising with Twitter allowing one person the possibility to instantly reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people with breaking news, minutes from when it occurred. Some recent news announced on Twitter include Paula Abdul (@PaulaAbdul) announcing her departure from American Idol, Ryan Seacrest (@RyanSeacrest) revealing Ben Silverman leaving NBC and Greg Grunberg (@greggrunberg) confirming that one of the main cast of Heroes will be killed off.
There was also a flurry of news reports hitting the net after young actor Tim Pocock, who played Cyclops in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, tweeted that he'd be off to work on X-Men: First Class after production on his Australian TV show finishes in February, 2010. Once word had spread everywhere, Pocock posted a retraction, stating it was all a cruel prank.
While news leaks may be one reason to curb celebrity Tweeting, the misinterpretation of information might be another as two weeks ago the creator for the hit FOX drama Bones, Hart Hanson (@HartHanson), tweeted; "First time in 'Bones' history we are shut down from production. Damn swine flu!" What started as a joke quickly turned into anything but as news outlets quickly picked up the story, reporting it as fact. This caused Hanson to return to Twitter to clarify that while the show was shut down because of the flu, it was not of the pork variety.
Hollywood seems to be of two minds in regards to the use of social networking sites, even when under the same corporate umbrella with the Disney side looking to crack down with contract clauses while the television side, ABC, encourages their stars to Twitter, even publishing the tweets on the networks website.
Still, if we've learned anything about the internet, it's that if information wants to get out, there's nothing you can do to stop it. Especially if you're angry that you're show has been canceled without even a single episode making it to air. Such as Southland star, Michael Cudlitz (@Cudlitz).
Who are some of your favorite celebrity Twitterers? I'd tell you mine, but I'm a little embarrassed because some of them aren't as manly as MythBusters Adam Savage (@donttrythis) and Grant Imahara (@GrantImahara).
I'll give you a hint - it rhymes with Bristin Bhenoweth (cough - @KCHENOWETH - cough)