There is a perception that this summer’s Olympic games will be the first Olympics to take advantage of social media. This is not true. It was Canada’s Olympics, the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, that were the first to officially and strategically use social media.
The Vancouver Olympics were the first to be live-tweeted, the first to ever have an official mobile app (with over a million downloads from over 50 countries) and the first to have an official Facebook page (1.1 million “likes”).
But what is a “social media Olympic first” is the level of control the International Olympic Committee (OIC) is gunning for…
With the Vancouver Olympics, the Committee was hands-off; there were few to no rules about social media use by fans, athletes, or anyone else. But now the OIC wants to control the social stream…
The most extreme example is the IOC’s “Olympic Athletes Hub,” a site designed to connect fans with athletes through social media. To participate, Athletes must sign terms and conditions to register their Twitter handles. This allows the IOC to read their tweets and see who they follow, giving them an extremely personal viewpoint of the athlete’s social presence.
To paraphrase a tweet by Canadian Olympic skeleton racer, gold medallist Duff Gibson: “2010 was about using social media, while 2012 appears to be about controlling social media.”
How do you feel about the IOC having such an intimate view of Olympic athletes’ social media?