Social media in rugby: more pluses or minuses?

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Matt Giteau would be an automatic selection in the exiled Wallabies. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

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It seems that social media has reared it’s ‘uncleared’ head once again. Who can forget the uproar when those who use Twitter knew that Matt Giteau had been left out of the Wallabies squad before the official team announcement?

Well, we now have the saga of Genia’s move or non-move to Western Australia, with social media leading to a certain commentator breaking the news on a Saturday night, only to have it potentially overturned this morning at 11am.

This does pose a question for the wider community. Is it better to get the facts or respond to the rumours?

Sites like The Roar at least have a vetting process before fan articles are posted, and we all understand that a journalist won’t publish anything without some validation process.

Social media allows anyone to post information without the need to provide proof, and depending on the level of controversy, this can spread like wildfire.

The other side of Sscial media that I actually am a huge fan of, is the ability to access and potentially interact with sporting people and organisations. Twitter and Facebook have made teams like the Brumbies more accessable, and I have really enjoyed the experience.

So where does this leave us? Perhaps we can all learn from this latest debacle, and maybe treat social media with a grain of salt, obtaining validation of the facts before we get excited about news extracted from that source.

I, for one, feel for both the Western Force fans and the Queensland Reds fans, as the prospect of gaining and losing a superstar like Will Genia would be either awesome or devastating.

One of the benefits of this situation was that it made for an interesting weekend.

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