The GIF police strike again: The NFL is banning teams from sharing the animated images on social media.
ESPN obtained a set of memos outlining a new league social media policy that goes into effect tomorrow.
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Teams also can’t livestream during or after games. That’s unfortunate – live video helps teams feel a bit more relatable, and lets audiences watching from home feel like they’re closer to players.
GIFs and video content are banned from the moment a game starts to 60 minutes after they’re over. Fines run at $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for a second and $100,000 for the third.
It’s like the Olympics ban on GIFs all over again, except at least the NFL isn’t going so far as to prevent the media from using GIFs.
Still, it’s an unfortunate move that only hurts team fanbases. As TechCrunch points out, on busy Sunday nights with multiple games going on at the same, it seems ridiculous that only official NFL accounts will be allowed to post GIFs.
Fans are more likely to follow their teams than the league in general, and chances are they will miss out key moments because of the change. GIFs are supposed to be fun, and we can’t imagine the league is losing so much money it need ban teams themselves from posting.