Barstool Sports made an effort to correct the DMCA problems it faced early last week by deleting over 61,000 social media posts Friday and also calling attention to how poorly the dispute between comedian Miel Bredouw and Barstool was handled.
Both CEO Erika Nardini and President Dave Portnoy professed Barstool’s handling of Bredouw’s plight was mishandled.
“Where Barstool went wrong is that when she refused to respond and it became clear she had no intention of speaking with us we should have ended it,” Portnoy told Business Insider. “Unfortunately Barstool Sports has idiots in our company much like many other companies and those idiots acted like idiots. I regret our lawyer offering a 50 dollar gift card to our store not because it’s illegal in any manner but it’s just so moronic and makes us look like assholes. That’s why lawyers should not be on social media.”
“I am not pleased with how we responded,” Nardini told Fast Company. “The way we responded to Miel, what we responded to her with, the accounts we responded to her from, I think what Barstool botched in this case is the response.”
According to SocialBlade, Barstool usually posts nearly 70 tweets a day, not all of which are original content. Barstool made an effort to retract questionably owned posts it shared across its main profile by deleting over 60,000 posts from Twitter and over 1,000 from Instagram Friday and another 300-plus from Twitter Saturday. This of course doesn’t take into consideration the over 700 Barstool accounts that represent specific regions and teams.
Nardini acknowledged that although the DMCA is a tricky aspect of social media to maneuver around, Barstool’s use of fan-submitted content could use some work. She outlined Barstool’s process and struggles of fan-submission to Fast Company:
“In the case of Barstool, one of the most important things I look at it is how many submissions of videos we get every single day. It’s between 500 and 600 videos sent to us. We have a process where every person who sends us a video has to verify that they in fact own the rights to that video and are giving us permission to post it. So we have an established process in place where people submitting us content abide by the policies that we set. Unfortunately, it’s not fool-proof–just like most things associated with DMCA on the web–and we have people who verify that they own the content they are sending to us, which, in fact, they do not own. As a result, it results in the contention around who owns a specific piece of content. We see this all the time.
The second thing that happens with us is that we’re tagged or mentioned in thousands of pieces of content or thousands of mentions and posts per day, so the traffic and volume of videos flowing through us–we have over 700 social accounts–is enormous. I’ve worked hard, and we’ve worked hard to make sure that we have the right policies and procedures around how we manage submissions of video content. We work hard at it, and we don’t want to steal people’s content and we want to be sure we do the right thing.”
Although, Nardini was unapologetic, saying “That’s not the fault of Barstool. I can’t apologize for every human on the internet who submits a video under a dummy email account and says it’s theirs.”
Barstool is effectively taking this one on the chin. The Bredouw case was expected to be the final strike for Barstool against Twitter’s policy on the matter. After facing a healthy dose of backlash from fans (and non-fans) as comment sections of posts were filled with “See Barstool Sports DM,” Barstool is looking to save face while holding its ground all the same. The brand has a reputation to uphold, afterall. Though it appears Bredouw’s tirade against Barstool Sports was enough for one small step toward change in the fight against copyright infringement on social media.