According to the IOC, these measures are part of a grand vision to democratize and extend the way supporters are able to follow the summer games, supervising the spreading of ads and encouraging stronger relationships between fans and pro athletes.
In an act of generosity the committee has now stated within their media policy that participants and other accredited persons are allowed to take pictures and share them, as long as they are not commercialized or distributed for advertising purposes.
So both thumbs up for the democratisation of the Olympic Games 2012, right? Wrong.
Here are some aspects of social sharing that might get you sued during the event:
1. "That was hilarious, let's get that on YouTube"
You just saw an athlete do a funny move, your friend joked around while meme-ing somebody on the stand, you want to show your friends on facebook your view of the opening firework?
Better do a stop-motion movie with still pictures - because a video will get you sued. (Stop-motion probably too, better not risk it ;)
According to the IOC, “Participants and other accredited persons cannot post any video and/or audio of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic Venues.” .
So, sit back, relax, share some quality IOC regulated SPONSORED video content with your friends and family, because everything else just wouldn't be worth the hassle.
2. "A little tweet never hurt no one"
According to the IOC, that's actually not the fact. Thats why they are investing a lot of energy into monitoring and controlling written content spread via social sharing platforms like twitter.
This only underlines the ambiguous nature of actions taken by the committee, promoting authentic interactions between athletes and supporters on the one side, yet keeping a watchful eye and strong grip on what is actually being communicated via private or affiliated persons during the event.
The official release states : “However, any such postings, blogs or tweets must be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist - i.e. they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons”.
3. "So i started the facebook group - Olympic Games 2012 suck”
Any content engaging “[...] in conduct which is offensive to or adversely affects the goodwill associated with the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement” will be monitored and - if necessary - censored and taken action against by the the IOC and affiliated partners.
“Goodwill” ? Sounds like a pretty broad form of measurement if you ask me. Hard to define what the IOC defines as a breach of Goodwill, be it a negative comment via social media or satiric post about an issue related to the event.
4. "This meme is going to rock 9Gag"
So, you had an idea on how to implement the Olympic Symbol - five interlaced rings - within a cool meme that has the potential to spread across 9gag ? No way, José.
“Participants and other accredited persons must not use the Olympic Symbol – i.e. the five
interlaced rings, which is the property of the IOC – on their postings, blogs or tweets on
any social media platforms or on any websites.”
The same accounts for the word “Olympic” or any other OLYMPIC-RELATED WORDS.
Like, 10th cousin related? Or, backwoods, small-town hillbilly related?
Again, the IOC reserves itself the right to take action according to its own assessment - meaning : If you write something remotely related to the Olympic games, and it's heading towards a direction that they don't like - you are going to be held accountable.
5. "My friends at reddit would love this AD"
See something cool at the Olympic games, like a funny ad or maybe an ad-fail (which are mostly even funnier) ? It probably wouldn't be such a good idea to share it via social media like reddit, because the IOC - surprise - is watching!
“Participants and other accredited persons are not permitted to promote any brand, product
or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise on any social media platforms or on
Experts claim that the IOC is exercising never before seen strictness in terms of branding, advertising and affiliate exposure.
With millions and millions in sponsoring deals this may be a wise decision economically wise, but it can also get some small users into deep trouble.
So, my final advice to you, is : Either be really good friends with ol Zuck, or think twice when sharing content via social media like facebook or twitter at the Olympic Games, because the IOC is running a bold campaign and engaging in new forms of monitoring and (social) media control.
Have you already encountered difficulties concerning the use of social media at the summer games this year? If so, feel free to comment this article and start a discussion right now!