Should Medical Conferences Ease Social Media, Photo Restrictions?

June 15, 2017

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) stirred up quite a tweet storm this week by enforcing a restrictive social media policy at its 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego.

Conference attendees who tweeted out images from presentations and sessions were sent a polite but firm Twitter request from the ADA, asking them to remove the post.

"Thanks for joining us at #2017ADA! Photography isn't allowed during presentations — we'd appreciate it if you would delete this tweet," read a typical Twitter response from the ADA's official handle, @AmDiabetesAssn.

Twitter users at the conference revolted, flooding their feeds with complaints about the policy, ultimately drowning out tweets about trial results being presented at the conference. Many meeting attendees said they viewed the restrictions, which the ADA claim are necessary to protect the copyrights of publication authors, as draconian. Some said they saw it as an unethical attempt to maintain a monopoly on data and educational effort.

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