2012 Olympians allowed to tweet from the Games

By Rachel Hand topicIcon Social Media

London tweeting

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released guidelines for athletes at the 2012 Olympics concerning their use of social media and blogging platforms.

Within the guidelines, the IOC says it "actively encourages" athletes to use social media to share their experiences. However, all such output should be "in a first-person, diary-type format", restricting the athlete from reporting on events or competitors. Furthermore, tweets and blogs should not contain "vulgar or obscene words or images", and must generally comply with the Olympic Charter.

Any athlete whose use of social media is deemed to flout these rules will have their accreditation removed, which would in effect disqualify them from the Games. Take Down Notices and legal action are also possible.

Commercial and copyright rules

Promoting brands or sponsors through social media is strictly forbidden, following January's OFT investigation into celebrity endorsements on Twitter, unless prior consent is obtained from the IOC. The use of the Olympic logo is restricted, while URLs and domain names are not allowed to contain the word 'Olympics'.

Despite the large number of limitations, 2012 will be the first Olympic Games with widespread use of social media from inside the competition, not least because Twitter was still in its infancy in 2008. Photography