Sunday 25 September 2016

Rio Ferdinand and Brian O'Driscoll warn Web Summit patrons... don't drink and Tweet

Tom Rooney

Published 05/11/2015 | 17:11

Brian O'Driscoll, right, and Rio Ferdinand on the Centre Stage during Day 3 of the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin, Ireland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit
Brian O'Driscoll, right, and Rio Ferdinand on the Centre Stage during Day 3 of the 2015 Web Summit in the RDS, Dublin, Ireland. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE / Web Summit

In front of a capacity audience on the centre stage at the Web Summit, Rio Ferdinand and Brian O’Driscoll offered all the captivated would-be tycoons some sage advice... don't mix booze and social media

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Both are bone fide legends of their respective sports, having captained Manchester United and Leinster to some of their greatest ever victories, but each admitted to their fair share of blunders on the digital field.

Ferdinand, who has close to 7m twitter followers, described being reprimanded on many occasions during his playing days for being too brash on social media, but claimed there were times when he just couldn’t help himself.

“When I was at United it was heavily governed, and I paid quite a few fines over the years for some of the stuff that I said," he said.

“I’m quite an impulsive person at times, and if someone said something not even associated with sport or football and you don’t agree with them, and you say something back, you can be fined. So I paid a fair few fines over the years."

O’Driscoll, on the other hand, was markedly more subdued while still lining out for club and country due to the strict rules put in place by management, which could be frustrating.

“As part of team, you have to adhere to the team way and mightn’t always be able to speak your mind or show the individual in you," Ireland's record tryscorer said.

“People talk about trolls on Twitter and people having that vehicle, they’ve always existed but social media has offered them the opportunity to get into it. You have to accept that as part of it; sometimes you engage and other times you don’t.”

However, now that they are retired, and in the BT Sports’ analyst suite, both Ferdinand and O’Driscoll confessed to taking the bait of online adversaries with more regularity, often regrettably.

“When you’ve got your phone in your hand, do not drink and go on social media because that’s when you get in trouble. I’ve been there before,” confessed Ferdinand.

While the former Ireland skipper has found himself reading his tweets the morning after the night before, then hoping against hope his account had been infiltrated.

“You’ve said things and woken up the next day and deleted them, and hoped that no one has favorited or retweeted them," O'Driscoll added.

“And you think, ‘I’ve been hacked; I was hacked at 4.30 in the morning.’ I’m the only one that has my details, so the buck does stop with me.”

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