Bloomberg Forbids Mentioning Competitors, or Linking to Them

Bloomberg has distributed a policy to newsroom staff on blogging, Twittering and Facebook updating. And in keeping with the company's tyrannical management culture, the rules are far more authoritarian than similar admonitions recently dispensed at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and elsewhere.

A mole forwarded us the excerpt below. It all but bans personal Web posts and status updates of all sorts. First it outlaws discussion of any topic covered by Bloomberg News. The financial wire covers a huge swath of events — "companies, markets, industries, economies and governments," per its own marketing materials, plus "Arts and culture" and food — leaving little else to talk about.

And even if a Bloomberg journalist does find an allowed topic, he would be hard-pressed to link to or even describe any relevant content, since company policy says staff may not "direct Internet traffic to media competitors or discuss them" (emphasis added).

Bloomberg Forbids Mentioning Competitors, or Linking to Them

Not that these rules will necessarily matter; we expect managers will be about as adept at enforcing this policy as they are at stopping other technical blunders (which is to day, not very adept at all).

UPDATE: Bloomberg wrote in to defend its policy, saying links on personal websites might be construed as endorsements of unvetted stories (like, say, that erroneous death report some clumsy financial wire recently published). The company would rather all links be posted to something called "BLOOMBERG PROFESSIONAL(R)". That sounds pretty bloggy and fun!

Bloomberg Forbids Mentioning Competitors, or Linking to Them