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Talent's Tweets restricted by BBC actions

A new BBC contract clause may be introduced with the aim of preventing Tweets from revealing confide

The BBC is planning to introduce a ban on talent involved with their productions from using Twitter and other social networks to disclose information about their work to the public.

Executives are discussing a change in contracts, which would mean that stars would be prohibited from revealing information about their involvement with any BBC productions that is considered confidential.

The follows a series of revelations made via Twitter. One of the most recent was singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor's seemingly harmless tweet that she would be appearing in the new comedy Life's Too Short opposite Sting. However, the BBC had wanted his appearance to remain secret until the opportune moment.

BBC management fears that if talent's use of Twitter is not regulated, major plot lines or other information not yet ready to be made public will continue be announced by unwitting stars.

Not only will this risk official announcements falling flat, but it could pose problems if contracts are not yet signed.

The BBC believes that it is the job of agents to advise and warn their clients of how to behave when using social networks, and to be aware of the information they may be disclosing. However, adding a new contract clause will ensure that there is no confusion.

This is not the BBC's first step towards regulating its employees' use of social networking sites. Three years ago, it put out guidelines to manage what employees could put on their Facebook pages, prohibiting any information that could be used against the BBC.