On the one hand the British Olympic Association says the London 2012 Olympics will be the “Twitter Games”. And on the other, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are telling their volunteers that they should not share their experiences via social media.
The athletes have had strict guidelines for a while, but recent publication of rules for the volunteer “Games Makers” is causing a bit of a stir. Some of these rules might be justified in terms of privacy such as not taking photos of areas closed to the public. But others seem to be unenforceable nonsense – not talking about a VIP or celebrity and not disclosing breaking news about an athlete. Social networks will be humming with this sort of news, surely.
You could argue that Games Makers have a job to do and shouldn’t be working one-handed – or take their eye off the ball – in order to tweet. But many games makers are passionately excited about what they are doing and will be desperate to share a celebrity snippet, an ad lib moment, or a significant sports sight, with their friends and families. Can rules really stop them? Paul Adams predicts “that we will see tons and tons of footage leaking out from the 70,000 volunteers, and that the best footage from the Games will come from regular folks, attendees and volunteers, and not from official TV crews.” He also thinks “that by the time the 2016 Olympics rolls around, this decision will be laughable, and the enforcers of this rule will look like dinosaurs.”
i-volunteer is running dire predictions of volunteers voting with their feet at these social media rules. But as LOCOG have reportedly got a problem of managing disappointment of potential volunteers who are surplus to requirements, I doubt that they are too worried.
What do you think about the Olympics’ social media guidelines?