Today Wizards of the Coast announced that in order to comply with guidelines from the Federal Trade Commission, all social media posts from Wizards employees will feature something, likely a hashtag, indicating that they are an employee of Wizards of the Coast. In the announcement, which can be read here, Wizards notes:
It should be noted that the presence of these hashtags cannot and should not be taken as proof of employment. They are not badges to verify employment, because, theoretically, anyone could drop these hashtags into their posts. Instead, if they are seen, it is our hope that readers use them as a sign that further investigation is needed to confirm the employment or role of the person in the company.
The Federal Trade Commission guidelines can be found here. The relevant portion is from the "Employee Endoresments" section:
If your company allows employees to use social media to talk about its products, you should make sure that your relationship is disclosed to people who read your online postings about your company or its products. Put yourself in the reader’s shoes. Isn’t the employment relationship something you would want to know before relying on someone else’s endorsement? Listing your employer on your profile page isn’t enough. After all, people who just read what you post on a review site won’t get that information.
So what does this mean? Not much aside from some Tweets being further broken up due to the character limit.
Shortly after this policy was announced, various members of Wizards staff took to social media to discuss the change.
Due to new federal guidelines, Hasbro has adopted a new social media policy which includes us employees at Wizards.— Mark Rosewater (@maro254) July 22, 2016
I have to either do this contextually or with a hashtag. Right now #wzstaff is the shortest so I'll be using that.— Mark Rosewater (@maro254) July 22, 2016
In short, I must identify myself as an employee using a hashtag (or text like "I must identify myself as an employee") in Magic tweets.— Matt Tabak (@TabakRules) July 22, 2016
@mtgaaron I think this is a well-reasoned and productive new policy for social media engagement!— Patrick Sullivan (@BasicMountain) July 22, 2016