NFL Threatens Hefty Fines For Teams And Players Posting Game GIFs On Social Networks

You can expect to see more canned content and less of the interesting stuff from the professional football teams you follow on social media. That's because the NFL, or No Fun League National Football League, has issued new rules to teams that prevent them from posting certain content such as animated GIFs, lest they be hit with a fine of up to $100,000.

Image Source: Flickr (Josh Hallett)

All 32 NFL teams received a pair of memos outlining the new policies. Starting on Wednesday, teams will no longer be allowed to record video inside the stadium during the game and post it to Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media account. They're also barred from streaming live video within the stadium, which means no more Facebook Live or Periscope posts popping up on your news feed on game day.

It doesn't stop there. Teams can't post videos at all from kickoff until an hour after the game ends. That means no more in-game highlights, unless a team is re-posting NFL video, nor can they turn video into GIFs. The latter applies all the time, not just from the aforementioned time frame—the rules disallow GIFs, period (thanks anyway for raising the GIF file size limit to 15MB anyway, Twitter).

Teams that run afoul of the rules will be hit with a $25,000 fine for the first offense. Second infractions can cost a club up to $50,000, while each subsequent violation could result in a fine of up to $100,000. To put those fines into perspective, Denver Broncos safety Darian Stewart was hit with an $18,231 fine for an illegal hit on Carolina Panthers quaterback Cam Newton in the season opener. Had the new rules already been in place and the Panthers decided to post a video on social media, the club could have been fined more than the player who made the illegal hit.

The rules on GIFs seem particularly arbitrary. Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of communications, told Mashable that there will be clarifying with clubs in the coming weeks what will be permissible regarding GIFs.

"We recognize the importance of social for clubs and look to balance increasing flexibility while building long-term strategic value," McCarthy added. "We continue to update and evolve our policies to drive engagement and fan development."

On the plus side, the new rules aren't as restrictive on social media usage during the week, but as for game day posts, fans might not have much reason to check their clubs' accounts anymore.

Thumbnail Image Source: Flickr (Erin Costa)