The International Olympic Committee has set new guidelines for athlete contributions to social media.
Among the most notable rules (posted in full below) are:
- “The IOC encourages all social media and blogging activity at the Olympic Games as long as it is not for commercial and/or advertising purposes.”
- “Postings, blogs and tweets should…be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images,”
Wired has stipulated that the new rules are aimed at avoiding the confusion that caused alpine skiing super-star Lidsey Vonn and other athletes to abandon social media all together during the Vancouver games.
Wired also reported Bob Condron, Director of Media Services for the United States Olympic Committee, saying of the regulations: ”You can’t act as a journalist if you aren’t…You need to do things in a first person way.”
My first question to Condron is who counts as a journalist? Is Julian Assange a journalist? am I? and why is Lindsey Vonn, who updates her 84,000 strong twitter audience on her brand and carreer nearly everyday, not a journalist of sorts.
My second question is what gives the the IOC the right to limit athletes’ freedom of speech? which benefits neither the fans nor the athletes.
Finally, why are olympic fans – increasingly involved with all that goes with 21st century fandom – and athletes - increasingly viewed in the context of their individual personalities along with their athletic exploits – okay with this?