American Diabetes Association criticized for restricting photos at conference

Any tweet with an image of a presentation at the American Diabetes Association’s Scientific Sessions in San Diego received the following response: “Thanks for joining us at #2017ADA! Photography isn’t allowed during presentations—we’d appreciate it if you’d delete this tweet.”

Researchers weren’t happy about it—and some outright ignored the policy.

As Kaiser Health News explains, the social media blackout even applied, ironically, to sessions around open innovation. ADA's senior vice president of professional services and education, Linda Cann, said the policy was about unspecified legal concerns.

“All research slides and posters are the legal property of each of the research authors and their study team, not the Association,” Cann said. “Reversing this policy could unwittingly dismantle the long-standing discourse and engagement of medical and research meetings around the world.”

Critics were quick to point out that guidelines for journals like the New England Journal of Medicine don’t consider social media posts to count as prior publication. More sinisterly, some saw it as an attempt to monopolize studies funded by pharmaceutical companies.

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