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May, 20, 2011

Fergie slams Twitter, hints at ban

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has branded Twitter "a waste of time" and hinted the club may consider a ban to limit his players' social networking.

Sir Alex Ferguson on Twitter

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The newly-crowned Premier League champions possess some avid Tweeters in their ranks, with Rio Ferdinand - who can boast over a million followers - unquestionably the most prolific.

Ferdinand and his team-mates use the site to communicate with each other and with fans, but Twitter has got some players into trouble this season, with former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel and West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon among those charged with improper conduct by the FA for comments made on their accounts.

Wayne Rooney also has vast numbers who follow his observations about life, while Michael Owen and Nani are other members of the United squad that use the site.

Rooney found himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons this week when he threatened a respondent who had himself been abusive, although he said later his threat was not meant to be taken seriously, while Darron Gibson took closed his account after barely two hours last month when he received abuse from United fans.

Ferguson confirmed the club were looking at how best to solve the problems presented by Twitter, but the 69-year-old simply does not understand why anyone would want to be involved in the first place.

"I don't understand it to be honest with you,'' he said. "I don't know why anybody can be bothered with that kind of stuff. How do you find the time to do that? There are a million things you can do in your life without that.

"Get yourself down to the library and read a book. Seriously. It is a waste of time. It seems to have a certain momentum at the moment. Everyone seems to want to do it.''

Ferguson certainly thinks anyone with a high profile needs to act with a huge degree of caution.

"It is responsibility. They are responsible for their actions,'' he said. "We as a club are looking at it because there can be issues attached to it. And we don't want that.''

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