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5 Responses to “2012 Olympic Games’ Social Media Guidelines: Has The IOC Taken it Too Far?”

  1. Tobias Mueller July 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi Melissa,

    first of all – thank you for another great post!

    I really think that the IOC has gone “off-track” with their very restrictive policy ["Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines for participantsand other accredited persons"].

    I will go into detail, but I think we first need to clarify to whom this policy is adressed by IOC. In the introduction of the policy is stated: “These guidelines apply to participants and other accredited persons during the Period of the Olympic Games”. From my perspective this does not include spectators because they are just buying a ticket and not getting accredited for an event. However it clearly adresses athletes, officials, accredited media and all olympic volunteers.

    Also, it would be completely illusive if IOC would aim at regulationg/controlling the spectator’s social media behavior! Let’s face it: we are talking about millions of spectators that will join the different Olympic events in London in the next weeks. To monitor all online content during the Olympic Games and enforce the social media policy would simply require way too many resources.

    Back to the policy. IOC has an obvious interest to prevent athletes and other accredited persons from using social media during the Olympic games for commercial / advertising purposes. The offical sponsors pay huge sums for exclusive sponsorships and the same goes for the media, broadcasting from London to all over the world. We need to accept: the most important sport event of the year has long become big business too!

    While it feels legitimate for the IOC to protect their “privileged partners” it really seems odd to try regulating the social media behavior of athletes and volunteers in such a strict manner. I think it would have been much smarter if the IOC would have published an informative guideline document (or even better a short YouTube video) with hints for social media use at the Olympic Games. Here is an example I like. It is a social media guideline presented in form of a YouTube video by Tchibo, a German chain of coffee shops and cafés. It is in German language, but you do not need to know German to understand this! LINK:

    Finally, I completely agree with your judgement, Melissa, that it would be extremely beneficial for the Olympic games themselves to leverage the athlete’s own self-promotion efforts (via social media).

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, Melissa. I am always enjoying your posts!

    Cheers, Tobias

    • Melissa Agnes July 25, 2012 at 5:13 pm #

      Hi Tobias!

      First and foremost, thank you for the nice compliment!

      As for my stating that it is for spectators as well, I put that in because they do have a piece that says spectators are allowed to take video footage, but not allowed to share it online. To me, that is a restriction directed to the public, so I included it in there as such.

      However, even though they stated it, I seriously doubt that they will monitor for it.

      As for your comments on the policy, I agree 100% with you! A social media policy is very important – but it is also important that it not be restrictive. I have another piece coming tomorrow on what they should have done with their policy, and what other companies and organizations should keep in mind with their own policy. I think you will find that piece in-line with what you have said here today! … You know what they say about great minds! ;)

      Thanks for sharing that link too, Tobias! I will go and check it out – always great to have good examples of jobs well done as well!

      Thanks, once again, for sharing your thoughts with me!

      Have a great evening,


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