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Olympic Rings. Image Credit: IOC.

When it comes to large televised events like the 2012 Olympic Games in London, it is necessary to enforce rules about social media usage.

Social media has been so ingrained into the collective consciousness that most people do not think twice about taking a photo with a smartphone or tweeting the current status of an event. Yet, due to status, political and international scale of the Games, there are specific rules imposed for staff, volunteers and athletes. These rules or “advice” restricts the use of social media to promote new or locations of participants, guests and other people of note attending the games.

A London Organizing Committee (LOCOG) spokesperson has told PCMag that it is expected that people want to share exciting moments at the games with loved ones, however practical social media guidelines have been made in order to protect the interest and the operational aspect of the games.

Athletes at the Games can document their experiences at the games through tweets, posts and blogs but not about the experiences of others. They are not allowed to write journalistic articles such as reporting on competition or comment on activities of other participants. They are not to disclose other information reasonably seen as confidential or private to any person or organisation. Entries are expected to be “diary” type entries.

Audio and video recordings are not to be broadcast through social media and no commercial endorsements are to be made through posts or tweets. Athletes are also forbidden to photos they have taken.

The International Olympic Committee also watches for unauthorised content on a dedicated official  website. For some athletes, short term thinking and posting onto social media actually cost their place or ability to participate in the Games.

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