Olympic Absurdity Runs Rampant with @London2012! Perhaps worse than @USOlympic!

Can there be an event that is more social than the Olympics?  One would think that if any organization would encourage the concepts of sharing, of openness, of coming together to share an event through whatever means, it would be the Olympics.

Time once was the Olympics was the one place we could expect to come together, and at least pretend we are one world, not separated by petty differences and grievances, and that we can all share in the excitement, the “thrill of Victory…” and “The agony of defeat…” (sorry, ABC Wide World of Sports–had to use it…)

Those times are past. We now see the true face of the Olympics.

According to the Brisbane Times:

Organisers of the London Olympics are vowing to wage a battle against online sharing of images from the Games.

In a strong warning to ticket holders, the Games appear to ban all social sharing of images online.

”Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a ticket holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a ticket holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally.”

The news has sparked a storm of protest online, especiaCan You Stop The Machine - London Eyelly by photographers, and comes after reports some British photographers have also been warned off by security staff for photographing the Olympic village from public places.

It is all about making money, and doing that on the backs of the athletes.  I don’t care what they say about knitters some how denigrating the accomplishments of the athletes–this takes the cake.  People cannot share their photos, their videos, their audio recordings, on the internet?  Rather than leverage the tremendous goodwill and support they would receive from allowing and ENCOURAGING these things, they take an adversarial aproach?  REALLY??

Irony of ironies–they want us to follow them on Twitter?  We are to support them, and their use of the social media space, while they work to come down hard on the very people who are most likely following them?  All I can say is… Wow…

But wait–they aren’t just discouraging (actively stopping) spectators from sharing–they are also going to stop the athletes themselves from sharing their experiences with family and friends (extended through the use of social media).  Remember how awesome it was during the past two Olympics to see video on the ‘net from athletes walking during the opening and closing ceremonies?  Well–stand by for news!  From the same article:

The rules also extend to athletes and officials, and the International Olympic Committee’s social media, blogging and internet guidelines warn that while participants and other accredited people can post online photos taken at Olympic venues for personal use, they can’t post any video or audio of events.

But let’s for the sake of argument say they need to really protect the sponsors.  Think for just a minute–if I am taking pictures and videos at an event, with Sponsors banners hanging all around the place, am I not also providing free advertising for those sponsors? I am extending, rather than limiting, the value of their sponsorship.

On the other hand, these draconian actions by an organization ostensibly committed to good sportsmanship and friendship may well cost their sponsors real customers.

Shame, shame, SHAME on you all.

(Photo, Creative Commons license, Spreng Ben via Compfight)


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