The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released a document entitled as the Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines for participants and other accredited persons at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Very formal, very thorough, and somewhat groundbreaking for a governing body to be so specific about what is allowed and what is not allowed  in regards to speaking about the Olympic Games.

We here at INFOtainment News, as you may know, have been conducting a number of profiles with various Team USA athletes and we will continue to post, publish, and promote the overall aspects of the games for the 2 weeks that they are in session.

That being said, I wanted to provide this document to you more from a reference perspective so you know what the limits of coverage and discussion are.

1. Introduction
The IOC actively encourages and supports athletes and other accredited persons at the Olympic Games to take part in ‘social media’ and to post, blog and tweet their experiences. Such activity must respect the Olympic Charter and must comply with the following. As a general rule, the IOC encourages all social media and blogging activity at the Olympic Games provided that it is not for commercial and/or advertising purposes and that it does not create or imply an unauthorised association of a third party with the IOC, the Olympic Games or the Olympic Movement.

Capitalised terms used in these Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines have the meaning set out in the Definitions section at the end of these Guidelines.

These Guidelines apply to participants and other accredited persons during the Period of the Olympic Games.

2. Postings, Blogs and Tweets
The IOC encourages participants and other accredited persons to post comments on social media platforms or websites and tweet during the Olympic Games, and it is entirely acceptable for a participant or any other accredited person to do a personal posting, blog or tweet. However, any such postings, blogs or tweets must be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist – i.e. they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons, or disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organisation. A tweet is regarded in this respect as a short blog and the same guidelines are in effect, again, in first-person, diary-type format.

Postings, blogs and tweets should at all times conform to the Olympic spirit and fundamental principles of Olympism as contained in the Olympic Charter, be dignified and in good taste, and not contain vulgar or obscene words or images.

3. Photographs
Participants and other accredited persons can post still photographs taken within Olympic Venues for personal use. It is not permitted to commercialise, sell or otherwise distribute these photographs.

4. Video/Audio
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. Such video and/or audio must only be for personal use and must not be uploaded and/or shared to a posting, blog or tweet on any social media platforms, or to a website.

Video and/or audio that are taken outside of Olympic Venues are not subject to the abovenoted restriction.

5. Athletes and Other Accredited Persons staying in the Olympic Village
Because of the protected environment, there are more restrictive guidelines for the residential area of the Olympic Village: any posting, blog or tweet must be in a first-person, diary-type format only; photos of the athletes themselves or other accredited persons in the Olympic Village can be posted, but if any other persons appear in the photo, their prior permission must be obtained by the person posting such photo. Video taken from within the residential area can only be for personal use and must not be broadcast, including uploaded to any websites or social media platforms.

6. Media
Accredited media may freely utilise social media platforms for bona fide reporting purposes. Photos taken by accredited photographers may be published for editorial purposes on social media platforms in accordance with the Photographers Undertaking. All other provisions of these Guidelines apply.

7. Olympic Marks
Participants and other accredited persons must not use the Olympic Symbol – i.e. the five interlaced rings, which is the property of the IOC – on their postings, blogs or tweets on any social media platforms or on any websites. Participants and other accredited persons may use the word “Olympic” and other Olympic-related words on their postings, blogs or tweets on any social media platforms or on their websites, as a factual reference, provided that the word “Olympic” and other Olympic-related words are not associated with any third party or any third party’s products or services. Participants and other accredited persons must not use other Olympic identifications such as NOC and/or LOCOG emblems or mascots on their postings, blogs or tweets on any social media platforms or on any websites, unless they have obtained the prior written approval of their relevant NOC and/or LOCOG.

8. Advertising and Sponsorship
Participants and other accredited persons are not permitted to promote any brand, product or service within a posting, blog or tweet or otherwise on any social media platforms or on any websites. Participants and other accredited persons must not enter into any exclusive
commercial agreement with any company with respect to their postings, blogs or tweets on any social media platforms or on any websites, unless they have obtained the prior written approval of their relevant NOC.

Sponsorship around any Olympic content (including, without limitation, any features, results and still pictures) is not permitted, unless authorised by the IOC.

In accordance with Rule 40 (formerly 41) of the Olympic Charter, no competitor, coach, trainer or official who participates in the Olympic Games may allow his person, name, picture or sports performances to be used for advertising purposes except as permitted by the IOC Executive Board.

9. Domain Names/URLs/Page Naming
Domain names and URLs including the word “Olympic” or “Olympics” or any similar words related thereto (or any foreign language equivalents thereof) are not allowed unless approved by the IOC beforehand. For example, www.[myname]olympic.com would not be permitted while www.[myname].com/olympic would be allowed, but only during the Period of the Olympic Games during which these Guidelines are applicable. Similarly, participants and other accredited persons may not create stand-alone Olympic-themed websites, application or any other feature to host coverage of the Olympic Games.

10. Links
The IOC encourages participants and other accredited persons to “link” their blogs, websites or social media platforms to the official site of the Olympic Movement (www.olympic.org), the official site of the Olympic Games (www.london2012.com) and the official site of the relevant NOC.

11. Liability
When participants and other accredited persons choose to go public with any comments, opinions and any other material in any way, including on a posting, blog or tweet on any social media platforms or on any websites, they are solely responsible. They can be held personally liable for any commentary and/or material deemed to be defamatory, obscene or proprietary. They should not (i) intrude upon the privacy of participants and other accredited persons and entities at the Olympic Games without the consent of such participants, persons and entities, (ii) interfere with the competitions or the ceremonies of the Olympic Games or with the role and responsibilities of the IOC, LOCOG or other entities that are part of the organisation of the Olympic Games, or (iii) violate security measures instituted to ensure the safe conduct of the Olympic Games. In essence, participants and other accredited persons post their opinions and any other materials at their own risk and they should make it clear that the views expressed are their own.

12. Monitoring
The IOC will continue to monitor Olympic on-line content to ensure that the integrity of rights-holding broadcasters and sponsor rights as well as the Olympic Charter is maintained. The IOC asks for the support of all participants and other accredited persons in halting any ambush activity or any sites engaged in conduct which is offensive to or adversely affects the goodwill associated with the Olympic Games and the Olympic Movement. The IOC asks that participants and other accredited persons discovering unauthorised content, please report it immediately to www.olympicgamesmonitoring.com.

13. Infringements
The accreditations of any organisation or person accredited at the Olympic Games may be withdrawn without notice, at the discretion of the IOC, for purposes of ensuring compliance with these Guidelines. The IOC reserves all its right to take any other appropriate measures with respect to infringements of these Guidelines, including issuing a Take Down Notice, taking legal action for damages, and imposing other sanctions.

Participants and other accredited persons may also be subject to additional guidelines and sanctions in respect of social media, blogging and the internet, from their relevant NOC.

14. Amendment/Interpretation
The IOC reserves the right to amend these Guidelines, as it deems appropriate. The IOC Executive Board shall be the final authority with respect to the interpretation and implementation of these Guidelines. The English version of these Guidelines will prevail.

15. Definitions
“Games Marks” means the official emblem, mascot, pictograms and other identifications, designations, logos and insignias identifying the Olympic Games and does not include the Olympic Symbol

“Guidelines” means the IOC Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines for participants and other accredited persons at the London 2012 Olympic Games

“IBC” means International Broadcast Centre

“IOC” means the International Olympic Committee

“LOCOG” means the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

“MPC” means the Main Press Centre

“NOC” means National Olympic Committee

“Olympic Games” means the London 2012 Olympic Games, to be held between 27July – 12 August 2012

“Olympic Venues” shall include all venues which require an Olympic accreditation card or ticket to gain entry, including the Olympic Village, Village Square, the competition venues, the training and practice venues and the Olympic Park Common Domain

“Olympic Marks” means the Olympic Symbol and the Games Marks

“Olympic Park Common Domain” means the primary Olympic site in East London which contains multiple Olympic Venues, including the Olympic Village, Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, IBC, MPC and the venues for numerous other Olympic sports

“Olympic Symbol” means the five interlaced rings

“Period of the Olympic Games” means the period from the opening of the Olympic Village on 16 July 2012 until the closing of the Olympic Village on 15 August 2012

“Take Down Notice” means a notice requiring a participant or other accredited person or third party to take down a blog in whole or in part within a specified time

“Village Square” means the Square which will be located adjacent to but separated from the residential zone of the Olympic Village which will host a number of activities including Team Welcome Ceremonies

(c) Copyright IOC 2011

Note: I’m happy to state that thus far, we have remained in compliance with these guidelines!!