Olympic attendees who are social media savvy and choose to film events at London 2012 to share online with their friends will not be actively pursued by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), according to a senior official.
Speaking earlier in the week, Mark Adams, the IOC's communications director, claimed that the 'Social Media, Blogging, and Internet Guidelines' issued by the organising body were intended to stop commercial companies from taking advantage of the Games, not to stop fans from sharing their amateur videos with pals on the Internet.
"Auntie Mabel in Norwich is not going to get a knock on the door at midnight and told to take something down," he said.
"The main reason we do this is to stop companies making money out of the Olympics who don't put any money back into the sport," he added.
According to a blog by the Wall Street Journal, Mr Adams was speaking at the official rollout of Olympic social media strategy, a sweeping initiative aimed at deploying a full arsenal of social media – including Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Foresquare – to promote and enhance the Games while also establishing protocols designed to avoid scandal and prevent commercial exploitation.
In keeping with its billing as the "first truly digital Olympics," London 2012 is the first Games to warrant dedicated social media policies, which include restrictions on the social media use of participants. The official Olympic Hub – which acts as a social media aggregator – will be moderated to allay the kind of intemperate outbursts frequently seen in other sporting realms, while athletes are also prohibited from promoting commercial offerings from non-Olympic sponsors.
In other words, don't even think about bigging up your favourite East End chippie, Sir Chris – McDonald's will be well vexed, and we know what happens when it get angry.
In total, some 2,000 Olympians are thought to be social media-ready ahead of the Games, with the IOC also planning to make use of Google's native social network, Google+. It is thought content shared via Google+ will have a more obvious tech edge to reflect the site's apparently specialist image.
London 2012 is witnessing a range of technology 'firsts' in line with the rapid digitisation of big sporting events. The BBC, for one, is furnishing users of devices running on Android or iOS with a free app enabling them to live stream events when they are on-the-go, while Internet giant Facebook has launched its own dedicated Olympic zone.
Sporting authorities are increasingly being prompted to formally legislate social media usage. Earlier in the summer, ITPP opined on Denmark's Euro 2012 Twitter ban and the online responsibilities of athletes in general.