Olympic committee to athletes: Tweet at your ‘own risk,’ don’t ‘report’

Athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympic games will be able to share their experiences through social media, but won’t be allowed to use their Facebook, Twitter or other personal accounts, such as blogs, to share videos filmed at Olympic venues or for commercial purposes, according to rules announced by the International Olympic Committee, The Associated Press reported yesterday.
If the rules are broken, the IOC warned it could withdraw accreditation, shut down online operations and take legal actions for possible damages, according to Inquirer Technology
The rules are also clear that athletes “are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service,” nor are they allowed to comment on opponents.
“Postings, blogs or tweets should be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist,” the IOC document stated.“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.”
Athletes can upload still photographs taken at venues but will not be allowed to sell or distribute them for other purposes, The Sun noted

There are also further restrictions on the use of Olympic symbols, such as the five rings, and no connection is allowed between the Olympics and an athlete’s personal sponsors or advertising, The Australian reported.
The IOC warns athletes that they are to use social media “at their own risk,” and that they “can be held personally liable for any commentary and/or material deemed to be defamatory, obscene or proprietary.”
The social media, blogging and Internet guidelines for Olympians were published on May 10, but surfaced on Monday.  They come with a warning that those who break the rules will be thrown out of the games. Also, a new dedicated password-protected website, called OlympicGamesMonitoring.com, created to monitor the online and digital media behaviour of the Olympians appears to be live, but it is password protected, according to PCMag.com.
Additionally, no website URLs will be allowed to contain the words “Olympic” or “Olympics” in the primary domain, unless they have been pre-approved by the IOC, according to a report by Wired.

For the full guidelines, visit the IOC’s page here.

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