When I read this blog post about how the IOC is building up pressure on photopraphers who publish Olympic pictures on Flickr, I was really shocked. It makes clear that the IOC is controlled by regulations, rights and its right-owners rather than by passion, emotion and equality which they say is the “spirit” of the Olympic Games.
So what happened: the IOC’s Legal Affairs department has send out letters to photographers, like Richard Giles, for hosting images of the Olympics on his Flickrstream. The IOC feels that this is a violation of the terms and conditions. Read the full story at Thomas Hawks blog.
So the IOC has taken a hammer and has smashed its own “olympic spirit”. The Olympic games are about experiencing and sharing emotions, passion and achievements. Thus social media should be in the centre of the strategy of the Olympic Commitee. The Blog of the Olympic Games in London 2012 is a small step in the right direction, but sadly was not initiated by IOC, it was the idea of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).
I think somebody should tell the IOC about the Streissand Effect and how they are currently messing with the social media community, bloggers, twitterers and of course photographers. Sueing is not the right way to “control” social media. They need to accept the changes social media brings to the overall media environment and learn how to cope with these challenges.
Why not listen to what is said in Blogs, on Twitter, facebook etc. and create a strategy to activate the “power of social media”. If they don’t do so, the Olympic Games could become a historical relict, because the Net Generation does not care (and watch) the games anymore.