Crown prince defends IOC social media regulations

Heir to the throne defends International Olympic Committee guidelines for the use of social media, saying the rules encourage athletes to respect each other

Crown Prince Frederik spoke in favour of the controversial rules set by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to monitor social media use by staff members and athletes during the London Olympics, which get underway today.

A member of the IOC himself, Frederik told the Jyllands Posten newspaper today that “[the] restrictions that the IOC has set are inspired by the Olympic values ??of 'Excellence, Respect, Friendship." These rules he said, are intended to encourage athletes to “treat each other respectfully […] whether it is on the track, in the Olympic village or in a tweet”.

Frederik also insisted that, rather than aiming to reduce their presence on the web, the IOC actually “encourages participating athletes to interact on social media and thus involve their fans and spectators”.

The IOC rules are outlined in a four page document the IOC sent to all national Olympic committees. Their aim, according to the document, is to ensure that all blog posts, Facebook updates or tweets “respect the Olympic charter” and avoid advertising.

While not disallowing the use of social media, the IOC went to great lengths in its instructions. It insists that all postings “be in a first-person, diary type format”, adding that these “should not be in the role of a journalist” and should not “report on competition or comment the activities of other participants”.

Other guidelines include a total ban on posting or broadcasting any audio clip or video taken inside an Olympic venue – including the Olympic village and all stadiums – and a ban on creating a blog or website with an address that contains the word “Olympic”.

Posting pictures is not forbidden, but the document specifies it should be for “personal use” only, adding that all pictures of a third party require the latter’s permission.

The IOC also encourages athletes and staff members to make sure their postings are in “good taste” and avoid “vulgar or obscene words or images”.

To insure that these rules are respected, the Olympic Committee has set up a monitoring website (, which will scan “Olympic on-line content” throughout the Games.

Failure to comply with these guidelines could result in the IOC stripping staff members or participants of their accreditations, therefore excluding them from the Games.