Don’t expect the IOC to understand social media at the London Olympics - their website lives in 2009

Martin Belam by Martin Belam, 9 January 2012
“I predict 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.”

Paul Adams, an ex-Googler now at Facebook, has written a great blog post about why the announcement that volunteers at the London Olympics won’t be able to use social media is not just King Cnut-like, but a missed opportunity. It is well worth reading in full - and concludes:

“I also think that by the time the 2016 Olympics rolls around, this decision will be laughable, and the enforcers of this rule will look like dinosaurs.”

It is no surprise to me that the Olympics struggle to get “new” media. Back in 2004, when I was trying to place a direct link to the official Athens Olympics site on the BBC homepage, the IOC’s terms and conditions stated that you had to seek written permission for a hyperlink by fax first. And the BBC’s risk adverse editorial team resisted on that basis.

I suppose at least the IOC have moved on a little from that.

Their website now says that it is ©2009. And the legal terms and conditions - rather than requiring prior contact - just expressly make clear that they are not legally responsible for inbound links. As if anybody has ever been sued for that.

The IOC website - copyright three years ago

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