With immediate effect we have amended our editorial guidelines to make clear that reviews posted on social media should not tag the performer in the post.
There had been much discussion this year on whether publications and websites covering the Edinburgh Fringe should continue to tag in performers to posts sharing reviews of their shows, on the basis that negative reviews could harm a performer’s mental health, and also that many performers choose not to read their own reviews and tagging was taking away that choice.
Our previous best practice was to only tag reviews in which four or five stars had been awarded. We solicited feedback and out of three options (no tagging, tag all reviews, only tag four or five star reviews), our previous best practice of only tagging four and five star reviews was voted to be the most preferred option.
However, we understand that this would not be a preferred outcome for those artists who prefer not to read their own reviews. Equally, only tagging four or five starred reviews undermines a three star rating which we hold as indicating a good, solid performance.
Therefore, we have taken the decision to not tag performers in review posts with immediate effect. We realise that this is not a perfect solution, and may mean that some artists wanting a review may be unaware we have posted a review on their performance. To address this concern, we will hashtag #review and type the performer’s or show’s name in our social media posts so that our posts are easily findable when performers conduct searches.
Lastly, we would encourage the Edinburgh Fringe Society to maintain a register of artists wishing to opt out of reviews and media coverage. Fringe performers have the option of opting out of audience reviews and it would seem sensible that they had the option to opt out of media reviews as well.
The EFC 18th August 2019