The WNBA’s Twitter gaffe

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” — unknown (“probable misattribution” to Edmund Burke according to Wikiquote)

I’d like to know what the person in charge of the WNBA’s Twitter account was thinking when he or she blocked a well-known fan account associated with a blog called, oddly enough, WNBA Outsiders. The latter’s words on the matter include the following:

Let me explain to you a lesson that my mother taught me when I was just ten years old. When someone is bothering you and trying to get under your skin, the best thing that you can do to minimize that voice is to ignore it. But, @WNBA (whoever you really are), you have failed to practice this wisdom. Instead of pretending that the authors of this website do not have a voice or an audience, you have chosen to actively work against us. By blocking us, you have recognized our influence on the coverage of the league. We deem it a foolish action by a league that seems to specialize in such ill-advised decisions.

And further down:

The aggressive action against the Outsiders has been noted, but it will not be tolerated. Let it be known that a failure to accept the olive branch of peace we have graciously extended will be interpreted as nothing less than a declaration of war.

“Foolish” is a bit too mild for me; I have tagged this with “galactically-stupid” which is a tag I reserve for the most decisive lapses in intelligence. I don’t know how anyone at the WNBA could possibly see this as a wise move.

If it’s a trademark or trade dress issue, that’s a complete non-starter. For one, it is impossible to get the WNBA Outsiders blog mixed up with any real, genuine WNBA publication. The site design is completely different. The WNBA would never use a minimalist design with only a 770×150 pixel or so tight crop of a generic basketball.

I have remained a WNBA fan despite the folding of the Houston Comets (which I think may well be one of those “ill-advised decisions” that WNBA Outsiders makes reference to). I’m beginning to wonder if that’s not a mistake now.