SBD/August 1, 2012/Olympics

IOC Has "No Regrets" About Embracing Social Media For London Games

Adams said IOC was "probably powerless" to stop use of social media at Games
The IOC "has no regrets about embracing social media for what some are calling the first 'Twitter Games,' despite two athletes having been expelled for tweets and others being abused online," according to Nick Mulvenney of REUTERS. IOC Communications Dir Mark Adams said that the organization "would continue to encourage the use of social media around the Games and was probably powerless to stop it even if it wanted to." Adams said, "Used in the right way, we embrace social media" (REUTERS, 7/31). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Ovide & Stewart note the first social media Olympics "have become a minefield for the Olympic movement -- and especially for Twitter Inc." Since the Games kicked off Friday, the Olympics "have become a flash point for social media run amok." For Twitter, the "firestorms -- specifically with NBC and the suspension of the journalist's account -- have been largely embarrassing" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/1). The AP's Paul Haven writes under the header, "Olympics Awash In Twitter, For Better Or Worse." Twitter has "fast become an indispensable part of the Olympic scene" (AP, 8/1).

: The GUARDIAN's Josh Halliday notes some "well-known personalities are quitting Twitter after becoming the target of abusive messages from anonymous" posters. The messages directed at British diver Tom Daley "shortly after his Olympics disappointment on Monday are the latest example of cyberbullies taking aim on Twitter." Several British athletes competing at the Games "have found themselves targeted by a small but aggressive minority on the social network." Halliday: "Twitter has become an indispensable part of the Olympics" (GUARDIAN, 8/1)....FIFA President Sepp Blatter has confirmed that he "supports the decision to send Michel Morganella back to Switzerland for making a racist Tweet." Blatter, a Switzerland native, admitted that he had "been embarrassed by the incident at a time when the spectre of racism is rearing its head once more." Blatter: "It is embarrassing for the whole football family. It is embarrassing for the entire Olympic Games" (London INDEPENDENT, 8/1)....In Boston, Jessica Van Sack notes unlike athletes "who opted to use their 140 characters to protest Olympic organizers’ restrictions on outside ads or rail against vicious fans," U.S. Gold Medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman "is keeping things light, positive and focused on the excitement of the games." Several athletes "have not been as prudent, whether letting cruel spectators get the better of them or simply letting their thin skin show" (BOSTON HERALD, 8/1).
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