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Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines IOC Social and Digital Media Guidelines for persons accredited to the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016

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Introduction

The International Olympic Committee (the “IOC”) encourages participants and other persons accredited at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016 (the “Games”) to take part in social and digital media and to share their experiences with their friends, family and supporters. These guidelines are designed to ensure that this activity respects the Olympic values and the rights of third parties.   

These guidelines apply to all participants and more generally to all accredited persons at the Games, i.e. all athletes, coaches, officials, personnel of National Olympic Committees and of International Federations and members of accredited media. They apply from the opening of the Olympic Village, on 24 July 2016, until the closing of the Olympic Village, on 24 August 2016.  

Please also refer to the “Frequently Asked Questions” section for more detailed information on these guidelines.  

1. General principles

It is entirely acceptable for accredited persons to share their experience at the Games through internet or any other type of social and digital media, provided that it is done in a first-person, diary-type format and that the other requirements included in these guidelines are respected. Only the persons who are accredited as media may act as journalists, reporters or in any other media capacity while they are at the Games. 

Postings made by, or on behalf of, accredited persons should at all times conform to the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship and must not be undertaken for the purposes of demonstration or any form of political, religious or racial propaganda. Such postings should be within the bounds of dignity and good taste and should not be discriminatory, offensive, hateful, defamatory or otherwise illegal. The use of vulgar or obscene words or images is prohibited. 

In addition to these guidelines, accredited persons may be submitted to additional guidelines related to the use of social and digital media, issued by National Olympic Committees or other organisations. 

2. Photographs, video and audio

Accredited persons can post or otherwise share on social and digital media still photographs taken within Olympic venues (i.e. all venues which require an Olympic accreditation card or ticket to gain entry, including the Olympic Village, Olympic Village Plaza, the competition venues, the training and practice venues and the Barra Olympic Park) for personal use. It is not permitted to commercialise, sell or otherwise distribute these photographs. Moreover, to respect the privacy of residents, no pictures shall be taken in the areas of the Olympic Village designated as “no picture areas”. 

Accredited persons are allowed to capture audio or video of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic venues for their personal use. However, such audio or video content must not be made available on social and digital media (e.g. by posting or streaming) or on any other type of media without the IOC’s prior approval.  

Still photographs, video and/or audio that are taken outside of Olympic venues are not subject to the above-noted restrictions and can be shared through social and digital media, provided that the other requirements included in these guidelines are respected. 

3. Olympic properties

Accredited persons must not use the Olympic symbol on social and digital media. The word “Olympic” and other Olympic-related words can be used, 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. Accredited Persons must not use other Olympic properties (such as National Olympic Committee and/or Rio 2016 emblems or mascots) on social and digital media, unless they have obtained the prior written approval of their relevant NOC and/or the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.  

The Olympic symbol can be used by accredited media for factual and editorial purposes, for example in a news article covering the Games. 

4. Advertising and sponsorship

Accredited persons must not use social and digital media for any commercial and/or advertising purpose, in particular in a way which creates or implies any association between, on the one hand, a third party (or a third party’s products and services) and, on the other hand, the IOC, the Games or the Olympic Movement, unless they have obtained the permission from the IOC and/or the relevant National Olympic Committee beforehand. The conditions under which accredited competitors, coaches, trainers and officials may allow third parties to use their person, name, picture or sports performances for advertising purposes, including on social and digital media, are described in the Guidelines on Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter issued by the IOC and the relevant National Olympic Committees.  

5. Domain names/URLs/page naming/applications

Domain names, URLs and social media handles including the word “Olympic” or “Olympics” or other Olympic-related terms (including their equivalents in languages other than English) are not allowed unless approved by the IOC beforehand. For example, www.[myname]olympic.com or @[myname]Olympic would not be permitted, while www.[myname].com/olympic would be allowed, provided the content made available through such page respects the other requirements included in these guidelines. Similarly, accredited persons may not create stand-alone Olympic-themed websites, applications or any other features to host coverage of the Games.  

6. Compliance with laws and third parties’ rights

When accredited persons choose to go public with any comments, opinions and any other material in any way, including on social and digital media, they are solely responsible for the consequences of their action. They must ensure that they comply with applicable laws and that they have obtained all necessary permissions from any third parties whose image or property is used.  

When using social and digital media, accredited persons should not:

(i)      intrude upon the privacy of third parties;
(ii)     infringe upon any intellectual property rights, or other rights of any third party;
(iii)    disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to another person or organisation;
(iv)    interfere with the competitions or the ceremonies of the Games or with the responsibilities of the IOC, the Rio 2016 Organising Committee or other entities that are part of the organisation of the Games; or
(v)     violate security measures instituted to ensure the safe conduct of the Games.  

Accredited persons can be held personally liable for any commentary and/or material deemed to be obscene, offensive, defamatory or otherwise illegal, or infringing on any third party’s rights. This applies also in case accredited persons authorize a third party to manage their social media accounts or to express opinions on their behalf. 

7. Infringements

The IOC reserves the right to take any appropriate measures with respect to infringements of these guidelines. The measures may include requiring the removal of any infringing content, withdrawing the accreditation of the responsible person or organisation, taking legal action or imposing other sanctions pursuant to the Olympic Charter.

8. 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.