Twitter guidelines for athletes

Not even one week into the world's biggest sporting event and we have seen many athletes #fail on social media. While countries start to implement their own rules, UXB has decided to come up with an across the board set of guidelines.

Twitter and athletes. Two things that should be a match made in Istanbul. We can see pictures of how they train, where they are staying and how they felt without the journalistic spin. Direct access into the thoughts and lifestyles of people we put on a pedestal.

[Image from Sports Illustrated]

However, many athletes haven't quite figured out how to live in the public eye without a PR holding their hand. We may have be able to look into their lives, but we don't always like what we see. UXB has decided to help them out and give them a much needed guide to Twitter.

1. Leave politics alone

At least while you are an athlete. Sporting events unfortunately have enough politics embedded in them without you retweeting a far-right politician that punched a woman on live national television.

Learn from Schwarzenegger, enjoy your current career and use your influence for what you believe is good later. You don't see Boris Johnson cycling around. He would look like an idi... oh.

2. Don't disrespect former athletes

You're young, in the best shape of your life and hungry for the gold. People love you as you are the hope to bring some medals back home. When you retire you may get a nice job as a commentator... and then some whippersnapper insults you because they didn't like your analysis.

Not very nice is it? So don't do it yourself, even if you are the best female U.S goalkeeper of all time.

3. Don't sneak in some advertising

Nike became the first UK company to have a Twitter campaign banned after Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshire failed to notify people that their '#MakeItCount' tweets were adverts for the sneaker company.

The public aren't stupid and know when you are trying to sell us something. At least have the respect to admit it.

4. Ignore trolls

This is variable. Depending on your personality, it is probably a better idea to just ignore internet trolls.

Yes, they have published some abuse and yes, it is horrible and cowardly of them. However, leave it to everyone else to sort out. Focus on your training before you become known as the athlete that got into an argument on Twitter.

An exception applies to Britain's Zoe Smith who has responded magnificently to the cyber bullies.

5. Don't be a complete shuttlecock

Sometimes athletes are just utter tools. They are arrogant, offensive and at times, outright ignorant. Whether you like it or not, you are role models. Kids admire you and want to be you when they grow up. And then you go and spoil it by tweeting something stupid and racist.

Two athletes (this idiot and this idiot) have been kicked out of their Olympic teams for racist tweets (and rightly so!). Please leave your ignorance at the door and focus on training.

There you have it. Follow these five rules and you should be remembered for a good performance instead of being a twitter fool. However, if you are still struggling, athletes are more than welcome to pop down to the UXB office where we can help you reach social media gold.