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Olympians Get Social Media Rules


The ascension of social media in everyday life is quite remarkable. When you think that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Pinterest did not exist just a decade or so ago, you realize just how quickly social media has captured the imagination of virtually the entire globe.

But it’s not without its challenges. The quick rise of social media, with its often “no holds barred,” approach has led to controversy on many occasions, and gotten many people in trouble.
Remember former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s twitter fiasco . There simply aren’t widely accepted rules or guidelines regarding social media, which depending on your perspective, may be good or bad thing.

Social media and sports can be a potentially dangerous combination as well. Mark Cuban, owner of NBA team the Dallas Mavericks, has been cumulatively fined over $1 million by the NBA just for some of his tweets alone. The NFL bans its players from using Twitter or Facebook shortly before and during its games, claiming players could inadvertently reveal important game plans or other information.

With the 2012 Summer Olympics approaching, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has issued new rules regarding social media and Olympic athletes. Mashable, a popular website which tracks social media issues recently published insight into how the IOC is governing social media use by athletes at the upcoming Summer 2012 Olympic games . According to Mashable, the IOC social media rules state that any “…tweets, blogs and posts to other social networks” must be presented in “a first-person, diary-type format,” only. Also, the rules state that “Sharing video from the Olympic Village is also forbidden, and athletes are required to obtain permission from their peers before posting photos they snap of other athletes.”

Many of the social media savvy athletes are not happy with the restrictions. “Why would you want to handicap a form of media that only increases exposure for your event?” American Olympic athlete Nick Symmonds. “If you’re trying to make these the most watched Games in the history of the world, why would you take the people responsible for that history and say, ‘Hey, you can’t do that, you can’t share?’ Limiting it seems so stupid.”

This will be interesting to watch, because there is virtually no way for the IOC to police this. It should make for an interesting Olympics, both on and off the field.


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