London Summer Olympics Social Media Policy Covers 70,000 VolunteersBy: Josh Wolford - January 6, 2012
It looks like the organizing committee for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London is concerned about the Twitter use of everyone involved, not just the athletes and other official participants.
The Olympics are a big production to pull off, and it takes quite a bit of help from unpaid volunteers. This year, organizers are actively recruiting 70,000 of these volunteers (or Games Makers, according to the committee) to help.
According to Reuters, these volunteers are being told to be careful with their social media use. Olympic officials are concerned about these volunteers giving away “breaking news about athletes or disclos[ing] the location of politicians and celebrities.”
So if you’re working at the Olympics this summer and snap a photo with Michael Phelps or David Cameron, be careful about sharing it on Facebook.
A spokesperson for the Games had this to say:
We understand that many of our Games Makers (volunteers) will want to use social media to share their exciting experiences at London 2012 with their friends and family.
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.
Last summer, the International Olympic Committee issued their “Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines for participants and other accredited persons.” These guidelines actually encourage social media use, but limit the type of postings to “first-person, diary-type format.”
The guidelines also allow for photos and even videos to be uploaded to social sites. Participants and “accredited persons” are clearly barred from “reporting on competition or commenting on the activites of other participants or accredited persons, or disclosing any information which is confidential or private.”
Another issue the the Olympic Committee appears to be concerned with is advertising.
Participants and other accredited persons are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise on any social media platforms or on any websites. Participants and other accredited persons must not enter into any exclusive commercial agreement with any company with respect to their postings, blogs or tweets on any social media platforms or on any websites, unless they have obtained the prior written approval of their relevant NOC.
Apparently, these social media guidelines are also going to apply to the 70K + volunteers at the 2012 Games.
The Games are set to kick off July 27th and run until August 12th.