4 Olympic rules for social media etiquette
The ouster of an Olympic contender over a tweet is a reminder that maybe all of us should follow the International Olympics Committee's rules on social media use.
Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM
Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP
Justice came swiftly to Greek Olympian Voula Papachristou, who was expelled from the competition after she posted a controversial quip on Twitter from her iPhone.
"With so many Africans in Greece .. At least the mosquitoes of West Nile .. will eat homemade food!" (Translated from Greek to English by Google.)
Within a few days, the International Olympics Committee banned Papachristou from competing in the games for violating the "Olympic spirit."
London 2012 has been dubbed the social media games, and the IOC last year published rules for athletes and their use of social media.
Can these same rules guide people who count walking to the refrigerator as exercise? You bet. Here's how:
IOC: "Postings, blogs or tweets must not disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organization."
Twitter and other social media networks are no place for revealing secrets. Don't jeopardize your job or your friendships by sharing information or gossip that could be damaging to others.
IOC: "Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times ... be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images."
You never know who's reading your Twitter feed. Before you write that next tweet or post a photo, ask yourself if it's something you'd feel comfortable tacking up on your office door or sharing at the next family reunion.
IOC: "If any other persons appear in the photo, their prior permission must be obtained by the person posting such photo."
This is a good rule to follow, especially if you're in a group of people you don't know very well. If someone in your party says they'd prefer not to have their photo posted — on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or other places — respect the request.
IOC: "Participants and other accredited persons cannot post any video and/or audio of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic Venues."
If you're at a concert or other event, check to see if video is allowed. Also, ask permission from people who appear in your video before posting it. (YouTube recently added a face blur feature that's typically associated with witnesses, criminals and others who don't want to be recognized — this is not a good solution for social videos.)
The IOC closes its rules with a reminder that applies to all social media users regardless of athletic skill: Participants and other accredited persons post their opinions and any other materials at their own risk.
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