Former American president Bill Clinton will give the next Salesforce.com conference keynote. Yet the address, scheduled for the first week of December in San Francisco, has already made news even before its delivery. Salesforce.com’s PR firm has passed on a message banning the use of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media vehicles to report on the speech:
“PLEASE NOTE: President Clinton's representatives have mandated that there be absolutely no reporting during his session. That includes live blogging, Tweeting, Facebook posting or use of any other social media. We understand the inconvenience this may present, but greatly appreciate your compliance. Thank you.”
Needless to say, reaction has ranged from bemusement to outright scorn. ReadWriteWeb says the request “seems odd and a bit chilling”. Business Insider asserts that they “can’t imagine an actual concern that makes this a legit demand.” Others however subscribe less sinister motives to the ban, arguing that Clinton and his staff want undiluted audience attention.
Everyone weighing in on the issue agrees on one thing however: just how do you enforce a Twitter/Facebook/Live-Blogging ban? Even if the venue disables Wi-Fi for the duration of Clinton’s speech, what about those going online through their mobiles? Unless the organizers will take the extraordinary step of jamming the atendees’ phones and data devices?