The Olympics Collide With Social Media

Image courtesy of Ben Sutherland.

We all understand that organizing an Olympic games is a monumental task, rife with unique challenges.  But one of those unique challenges probably wasn't high on the London Olympic Committee's threat radar: social media.  But the medium has proven to be a big issue since the Games began last Friday. 

Let's look at some of the highlights: 

Twitter suspends and then restores a reporter for the Independent after he tweeted critical comments about NBC's Olympic coverage

A 17-year old Twitter troll was arrested (after being hammered on Twitter) in the UK after he made personal taunts at diver Tom Daley, a hometown favorite

Spectators were limiting bandwidth on local wireless networks by their volume of tweets, which caused issues with GPS and time tracking tools

Swiss soccer player Michel Morganella was suspended and sent home after he tweeted racial insults against his opponents

Former Google China head Kaifu Lee posted the personal information of Team USA swimming coach John Leonard, who questioned the legitimacy of Ye Shiwen’s record-breaking swim

It seems those organizing and participating in the Olympics are quickly coming to grips with being part of a truly "social" event and the new operational parameters they find themselves having to navigate.  

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