Sports Facilities Commission denies trying to censor Metrodome demolition photos
The MSFC doesn't want folks on its payroll to be tweeing out photos like this anymore.
Curtis Schmillen works as a subcontractor for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Commission. He spends a lot of time at the site of the new Vikings stadium and has gotten in the habit of sharing pics of the ongoing Metrodome demolition from his personal Twitter account.
But those days have come to an end after the MSFC asked him to stop tweeting out the photos.
Here's a representative tweet from Schmillen, along with what he had to say about the Facilities Commission's request (the ones that don't load totally have since been deleted by him):
For those of you that care, I am migrating to Facebook. Search for Curtis Schmillen, I will still post pics, but not to the Twitter-verse.-- Curtis Schmillen (@CurtisSchmillen) February 10, 2014
The Team and the Authority would like to have you follow them for stadium updates. No big deal. Will still keep friends posted on Facebook.-- Curtis Schmillen (@CurtisSchmillen) February 10, 2014
I know I am supposed to stop. But here is a question I get a lot. The shaded area is the Dome footprint. pic.twitter.com/I8YLELV2aO-- Curtis Schmillen (@CurtisSchmillen) February 11, 2014
I am officially done tweeting. Please follow MSFA for further updates. Thanks for following. It was a fun ride.-- Curtis Schmillen (@CurtisSchmillen) February 11, 2014
Over on Facebook, Schmillen provided a bit more detail (his account is protected, meaning only his friends can read his posts):
I am NOT a Facebook guy. I was doing a Twiiter [sic] feed to share pictures of the new Vikings Stadium, but was asked to stop and let the Vikings and/or the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority control that medium. I was directed to use Facebook to keep some control over who sees the photos.
Obviously, lots of folks are interested in seeing what is happening with the demolition of the Metrodome and the construction of the new facility (Minnesota Multi-Purpose Stadium). I will share that with those that "hook up" with me. And to my beautiful bride ... sorry for mocking you repeatedly for being on Facebook.
Schmillen's tweets and Facebook post prompted MPR's Bob Collins to write a blog post casting the Facilities Commission's motivations in a quasi-sinister light . But reached for comment today, MSFC Director of Communication Jenn Hathaway said it's "nothing nefarious."
(For more, click to page two.)
Told that one could read the MPR blog post as implying the MSFC is censoring unflattering Metrodome photos, Hathaway replied with an "Oh my God."
Schmillen "is going to be taking the photos for us, and we asked him to share them through more official channels so we know what's going out there," she said. "I think it's unfortunate the way he left his last tweet."
"What I believe happened is that he wanted to share pics with his family [on Twitter] and it became kind of a bigger deal," she continued. "It's nothing nefarious, it's just that he's a contractor and we would like to control what goes out."
Hathaway said that anybody who wants to see pictures of the Metrodome demo and the eventual construction of the new stadium should follow the MSFA's "new MN stadium" Twitter account, which you can check out by clicking here.
:::: UPDATE ::::
Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson had this to say about the controversy this afternoon:
The beauty of Twitter. No one from Vikings asked @CurtisSchmillen to stop taking construction photos. Asked for coord. photo distribution.-- Jeff Anderson (@andersonj) February 11, 2014
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.
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