Olympic Organizers Put Tight Curbs On Social Media Use By Volunteers

Organizers for the 2012 Olympic Games in London have banned volunteers from sharing details about their experiences on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks.

Volunteers have received letters saying they can disclose they are volunteers, but that’s about it: the ban forbids them from posting photos, disclosing locations or even their specific role as a volunteer. In addition to security measures – volunteers, for example, can’t tweet about a visiting VIP – the ban also prohibits volunteers from sharing “breaking news” about an athlete.

The new directive seems to be a stricter supplement to guidelines that were issued last summer. Those guidelines encouraged social media use, as long as it was more of a first-person, diary-like account of what volunteers were doing.

“We understand that many of our Games Makers (volunteers) will want to use social media to share their exciting experiences at London 2012 with their friends and family,” a spokesman for the London Organizing Committee told Reuters. “As is standard in most organizations, we have provided some practical guidelines to give basic advice on interacting in a social media environment with the aim of protecting the interests of our workforce and operation

The ruling affects about 70,000 volunteers. Some volunteers are not happy. i-volunteer, an online social network, reported that one volunteer posted their resignation on Facebook.

“Because of this I have cancelled my application. I do not want to be associated with anything that is that controlling. Bye all,” the unidentified would-be volunteer said.

The London Organizing Committee said all social media communications about the Games will managed by its communications team.

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