Carnival Cruises rewrites social media policy, frees the travel tweetersNewsBy Dennis Schaal | February 25, 2010Share This article was originally published on As it pledged to do two months ago, Carnival Cruise Lines revamped its first social-media policy, removing previous restrictions on travel-agent partners' use of CCL trademarks in tweets, status updates and blog posts.Contrary to Carnival's first proposed social-media policy for 2010, which the cruise line withdrew Dec. 15 after a Tnooz story about it several hours earlier triggered an outcry, travel agents who book Carnival sailings can now, with relative freedom, mention and write about Carnival Liberty, Carnival Sensation, Fun Day at Sea, Carnival Cruises or any other CCL trademark on their blogs or in other social-media outlets.“We have tried to clearly communicate that we encourage and support travel agencies’ use of social media," says Jim Berra, Carnival Cruise Lines' chief marketing officer. "The only intent of the social media policy was to prevent people from inappropriately representing themselves as Carnival -- versus a travel agency promoting Carnival product. The legalese in the previous version was way beyond the intent.”The new social-media policy, published Feb. 16 as part of Carnival's Travel Agency Policy, prohibits travel agents who book the line's sailings from using Carnival Cruise Lines' trademarks "in any username, account name, profile name, screen name ..." in social-media venues.Here's the new policy:"Travel Agency may use Carnival’s Property in Social Media Websites (as defined below) for the purposes of communicating information about Carnival, subject to the requirements of the Policy. Travel Agency may not use Carnival’s Property, anything substantially similar to Carnival’s Property, or Typos in any username, account name, profile name, screen name, or similar for any Social Media Website or display or undertake any other activity which may confuse consumers as to whether Travel Agency is acting on behalf of Carnival or is endorsed by Carnival. The following are considered Social Media Websites: social networking websites (including by example, but not limited to, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), blogging and community websites (including by example, but not limited to BlogSpot.com, Wordpress.com, etc.), Video Websites (including by example, but not limited to YouTube, etc.), or any other website operated by a third party, directly or indirectly controlled or posted by Travel Agency (“Social Media Website”)."Travel agents who violate the policy must, at Carnival's discretion, "disable or transfer exclusive control to Carnival" any such rogue account within five business days after being notified.Subsequent violations could lead to agents permanently losing the right to book Carnival sailings and commission earned during the violation period.The much-harsher social-media policy, which CCL withdrew in December before putting it into practice, contained language which would have prohibited travel-agent partners from blogging or tweeting about Carnival's sailings or practices -- including any mention of Carnival trademarks -- without prior authorization.Even the headline of this article, "Carnival Cruises rewrites social media policy, frees the travel tweeters," would have violated the initial, proposed policy if it had been written by a travel-agency partner because it uses a trademark, "Carnival Cruises."In rewriting its social-media policy and issuing it anew Feb. 16, CCL officials say it had never been their intent to have implemented such a restrictive policy.