New WWE policy on talent monetizing their social media accounts

Feb 16, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

Photo Credit: WWE

WWE has confirmed that talents are banned from monetizing their Twitter and Instagram accounts by working with third parties. It was originally reported on Monday, via Wrestling Inc, that WWE was issuing “violations” to talent for tweets or Instagram posts that named any third party business, person, brand or charity. The violations begin with a warning, then a fine, and finally a talent suspension.

WWE is claiming ownership of talent Twitter and Instagram accounts via a clause in their contracts that gives WWE the exclusive use of their likeness. It was made clear to talents who have complained about the policy, that the current “flexibility” allowed in social media could be retracted by the company.

The original report was discussed on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio. Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez gave an example of talent taking casual photos in front of a car or restaurant, stating that those would be punishable offenses if those brands were mentioned in the post. In an update, WWE has clarified the policy to and stated that those would not be punishable offenses unless the talent was making money from promoting those brands.

WWE stated that the new policy is no different from the recent policy on third party content through platforms such as Cameo and Twitch. For several months now WWE has not allowed talent to create unauthorized content through third party providers like Cameo and Twitch, but the ban had not specifically included Twitter and Instagram posts, until now. WWE is going on the guise that the contractual ownership of the likeness of their performers includes all social media accounts, regardless of whether the accounts use the stage names or the real names of the talent.

3 Responses

  1. Kyle Christie says:

    WWE really are a bunch of greedy bastards. They have record profits, just signed a $1 billion dollar deal with Peacock but won’t give their employees / workers pay rises and won’t allow the talent to make extra money from social media, cameo, Twitch etc. Just pathetic. Could they get any greedier? Actually, yeah, they probably could.

  2. Gerry says:

    Does anyone actually read there contract before signing? lol

  3. Jake Allen says:

    It goes both ways:

    -If the WWE are investing into you as a character, like The Fiend, and in his promos, his matches, and his merchandise, he’s supposed to be some demon/psycho/crazy monster, but then he’s on Twitch playing games or taking photo’s in front of a McDonald’s with a Big Mac in his hand – then yea, the WWE has an absolute right to complain and be pissed that they’re wasting their time turning this guy into a larger than life character on tv while he’s promoting himself to be a cheeseburger eating, video game playing pleb everywhere else. I get that.

    -BUT! It’s the way the WWE are presenting their case that makes them absolute scum. “You can do whatever you want as long as you’re not being paid for it,” is pretty atrocious. And I get that there are fine lines to be drawn here. If I was the owner of the UPUPDOWNDOWN channel and just had random wrestlers appearing on my show cuz they’re walking around the back where I’m streaming anyways, and I’m making money hand over fist because I have a lot of views online, then I wouldn’t really have a leg to stand on if I was to complain that the WWE didn’t want me to make money off of their good graces. But if I’m at home, streaming myself playing a game, and someone donates to me, screw the WWE for not caring about the content of my streams while they only care if I’m making money doing so. You (WWE) don’t pay me enough, have the ability to make or break me as a person of worth in the wrestling industry by your own will, and are on an easily seen decline in creativity and talent because of your president/owner’s own doings WHILE you’re making hand-over fist record breaking deals that solely benefit your higher ups personal pockets and not anyone else’s.

    This is a tough one to take sides on…

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