London Olympics Restricts Volunteers’ Twitter and Facebook Use

http://mashable.com/2012/01/11/london-2012-olympic-facebook-twitter/

london 2012

London 2012 Olympic volunteers have been banned from posting updates and  photos to TwitterFacebook and other social networks. The London Organizing Committee announced Friday that Games Makers, the 70,000 person volunteer squad, cannot post their roles, locations, or details about the athletes and other VIPs online.

“We understand that many of our Games Makers will want to use social media to share their exciting experiences at London 2012 with their friends and family,” a spokesman told Reuters. “As is standard in most organizations, we have provided some practical guidelines to give basic advice on interacting in a social media environment with the aim of protecting the interests of our workforce and operation.”

Broadcasting our whereabouts on Foursquare or snapping an Instagram of a celebrity sighting have become second nature for many of us. While athletes are permitted to tweet or post Facebook updates, the London Organizing Committee has made a decision that will limit the citizen discussion of Olympic events.

Additional restrictions prevent Game Makers from making public statements relating to the London games, without prior permission from Olympics spokespeople, or speaking to schools about the events.

This won’t mean much of a change from Beijing 2008, considering that China bans Twitter and Facebook. However, one may argue Olympic volunteers could have provided excellent stories from behind the scenes at the games.

Do you think the Olympics are making a mistake by restricting what volunteers can post to social networks? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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5 thoughts on “London Olympics Restricts Volunteers’ Twitter and Facebook Use

  1. Is there a reason they aren’t allowing the use of the social media sites about the Olympics? I’m not sure why they would do it besides wanting privacy. Also, how do they ensure that people don’t post about it? If users don’t hash tag on twitter or tag on facebook the Olympics than how would they necessarily know about it? I think that the use of social media would allow users to chat about the Olympics and help increase viewership.

  2. No, restricting posts by volunteers will improve security at the games. It also protects the privacy of the athletes who should be able to feel comfortable around volunteers and not have to worry about their every move being broadcasted.

  3. For many people, social media has become an important way to get breaking news. But compared with traditional media, it is hard to confirm the authenticity of the message or control the communication since anyone can be an information outlet. So if volunteers share the Olympic news, the athletes may feel like it is an innovation of privacy and the inaccurate news may affect the athlete’s performance. The restriction could also makes people focus more on the athletes’ own twitter and Facebook. So the restriction is reasonable.

  4. Exactly. The athletes’ village is supposed to be someplace where the athletes can go and not have to worry about being “on” all the time. If they have to worry about someone who’s supposed to be a volunteer pulling out the phone and posting, “Gee, Michael Phelps looked really tired at breakfast this morning,” that’s not good for the competitors, and it’s not good for the Games. This makes perfect sense to me.

  5. While I get the point of the athletes needing privacy, I don’t think they have to be so restrictive. Social media is a part of the way we live, and you can’t turn it off. They should specify certain concerns and corresponding restrictions, but they shouldn’t try to mute volunteers. It must take some of the fun out of it for the volunteers to not to be able to share about the once-in-a-lifetime experience that they are part of.

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