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London Olympics Bans Volunteers' Twitter and Facebook Use

January 17, 2012


There are many examples where governments are taking strong actions against social media. Recently, the British government took steps to gain control of social networking to curb rioting in the UK.  The Beijing government has also enforced on tight restrictions on social networking websites.

Due to security and privacy concerns, the London Organizing Committee has forbidden Olympic volunteers from posting updates and photos to TwitterFacebook and other social networks. According to a press release, the Committee announced that Games Makers, the 70,000 person volunteer squad, cannot post their roles, locations, or details about the athletes and other VIPs online.

“We understand that many of our Games Makers will want to use social media to share their exciting experiences at London 2012 with their friends and family,” a spokesman told Reuters. “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.”

On the other hand, this step taken by the London Organizing Committee will make people miss out on a lot of engagement and activity during the games. Considering that China bans Twitter and Facebook, one may argue Olympic volunteers could have provided excellent stories from behind the scenes at the games. 

However, while athletes are permitted to tweet or post Facebook (News - Alert) updates, additional restrictions prevent Game Makers from making public statements relating to the London games, without prior permission from Olympics spokespeople, or speaking to schools about the events.

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Mandira Srivastava is a TMCnet contributor. She works as a full-time writer, ghostwriter and blogger, and has more than two years of experience in print and Web media. She has also worked on company brochures, website content and product descriptions, as well as proofreading and editing content. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves