Poop Essay

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International Journal of Sport Communication, 2012, 5, 503-521 © 2012 Human Kinetics, Inc. www.IJSC-Journal.com ORIGINAL RESEARCH The Positives and Negatives of Twitter: Exploring How Student-Athletes Use Twitter and Respond to Critical Tweets Blair Browning Baylor University, USA Jimmy Sanderson Clemson University, USA Twitter has become a popular topic in sport communication research. Little research to date, however, has examined Twitter from the perspective of student-athletes. This research explored how student-athletes at an NCAA Division I university used Twitter and reacted to critical tweets from fans. Semistructured interviews with 20 student-athletes were conducted. Analysis revealed that student-athletes used Twitter in 3 primary ways: keeping in contact, communicating with followers, and accessing information. With respect to critical tweets, student-athletes reported various perceptions about them and diverse strategies for responding to them. The results suggest that Twitter is a bene cial communicative tool for student-athletes but also presents challenges, given the ease with which fans attack them via this social-media platform. Accordingly, athletic departments must be proactive in helping student-athletes use Twitter strategically, particularly in responding to detractors. Keywords: college athletics, sports and identity, social media and sports Social-media technologies are important players in sport communication (Sanderson, 2011a; Sanderson & Kassing, 2011). Although there are multiple social-media platforms operating in the sports market, Twitter is at the forefront with sports stakeholders (Sanderson & Kassing, 2011). Indeed, athletes, coaches, and broadcasters from nearly every sport maintain a Twitter presence, which allows sports fans to obtain immediate information directly from these sports gures. It is not surprising that sports

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