British Eventing Adopts ‘Big Brother’ Social Media Policy

Big Brother in "1984," a film based on the novel by George Orwell.

Big Brother in “1984,” a film based on the novel by George Orwell.

British Eventing announced an intense social media policy on June 3 that we’re surprised doesn’t have more members questioning its legitimacy on Facebook and Twitter. But that’s exactly what the rule has now banned.

Click here to view the lengthy rule in its entirety. We’ve provided a summary below:

1. Social media gives the people a voice, and we can’t have that.

2. As such, all BE members must follow this rule.

3. If members don’t follow this rule, BE has the right to press civil and criminal charges.

4. BE can demand that a member delete a social media post at any time. Failure to delete may result in punishment.

5. BE can and will “monitor, intercept and review” social media postings and activities. (Are you creeped out yet?)

6. Members are prohibited from posting anything on social media that could be viewed as offensive in any way, shape or form about BE or anyone who has or ever has had an affiliation with BE.

And here’s the grand finale of a footnote: BE now reserves the right to share a member’s personal information with the police.

Well, that spiraled out of control quickly.

Look, BE, we get that George Orwell is one of your beloved authors, but it’s not cool to take a page out of his book.

Encouraging your members to use social media as a tool to enact positive change in the sport is one thing, but you’ve totally skipped past that and gone straight to silencing people altogether.

You even go so far as to ban “seditious” remarks, which by definition prevents members from speaking out against this rule, as that would challenge your totalitarian authority.

But we hope BE members will choose to make those seditious remarks — knowing full well they will face punishment under the fourth article of the rule.

Indeed, in a time when our sport is facing criticism and unknown changes, we should be asking questions. And if those questions challenge the “authority,” then all the better, as that’s where change must ultimately come.

Consider Oscar Wilde’s words: “An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.”

So tweet boldly and courageously, BE members. They can take your tweets, but they can never take your freedom — though they can press criminal charges under the third article of the rule.

What do you think, EN? Read the rule here and post your thoughts below. But remember, Big Brother is watching you.

[British Eventing’s Social Media Rule]

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