Reading the rules the IOC is imposing on athletes competing at London 2012, makes me cry out loud. IOC, STOP and THINK. You are potentially challenging the largest consumer-powered communication engine to a fight to the death and I think I know who’ll win.
What is social media best known for – quick updates and fast thinking sound bites. Here’s what people accredited for the Games can do “…postings, blogs or tweets should 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.”
So I can say what I’m doing but not that I just beat someone else or noticed them eating, breathing or taking off an (unbranded) shirt.
All sounds unworkable and just too onerous – except that the threat of being chucked out and de-accredited may mean athletes decide just not to do any social media at all to be on the safe side.
As one commentator, Chris Matyszczyk, says
…the IOC might not yet understand the instant impulses that tweeting engenders. You grab your phone. You cradle your laptop. Out pop words whose speed is that of a Usain Bolt from the blue.
The long history of regulation and control of the Olympic branding and logo is well known (Rowperfect even got a “cease and desist” letter in 2000 for using a photo of an athlete in GB kit and mentioning that they trained using our product, as did Carl Douglas).
So the rules include the statement “Participants and other accredited persons must not use the Olympic Symbol – i.e. the five interlocking rings used alone on their postings, blogs or tweets on any social media platforms or on any websites.“ You also can’t create a website with the word olympic in the URL but can create a sub-page like rowperfect.co.uk/olympics – for the duration of the games….till 15th August 2012. What’s the point? Make and leave a legacy not create and take down.
And above all there’s full personal legal liability AND the Games police will be watching from the Olympic offices www.olympicgamesmonitoring.com password protected and restricted access.
Read the full IOC Social Media Internet and blogging guidelines.
- Twitter rules for London 2012 Olympic athletes revealed (mirror.co.uk)
- Olympic Twitter rules might spell disaster (news.cnet.com)
- Social Media Rules for Athletes (searchenginewatch.com)