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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

Frequently Asked Questions  

These FAQ are provided by the IOC for information purposes only. Participants and other accredited persons at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad Rio 2016 (the “Games”) are invited to consult the IOC Social and Digital Media Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) in their full version, available at www.olympic.org

Q: Who is concerned by the Guidelines?

A: The Guidelines apply to all accredited persons, in particular to all athletes, coaches, officials, personnel of National Olympic Committees and of International Federations and members of media accredited to the Games. 

Q: When do the Guidelines apply?

A: The Guidelines apply from the opening of the Olympic Village, on 24 July 2016, until the closing of the Olympic Village, on 24 August 2016. 

Q: Can I use social media or update my blog/website during my participation in the Games?

A: YES; the IOC encourages all accredited persons to share their experience at the Games with others through internet or any social media (e.g. via services such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Weibo, VKontakte, etc.) but requests that certain rules are observed.  

In particular, this activity should comply with the Olympic Charter and be consistent with the Olympic values of excellence, respect and friendship. Also remember that any online activity is still subject to applicable laws (such as defamation, privacy and intellectual property laws) and so the Guidelines require accredited persons to respect those laws and ensure that their social media activity is in good taste, dignified and does not contain vulgar or obscene content. Postings that are racist, discriminatory or otherwise offensive towards other persons are also prohibited.  

During the period of the Games, accredited persons are not allowed to commercialise their social media and internet activities (see further below “Can I post about my sponsors during the Games?”). 

Q: Can I post about the competitions?

A: YES; Participants and other accredited persons can post about their participation in the competitions, other competitions or their experiences generally during the Games but, unless they are members of accredited media, they should not assume the role of a journalist or media outlet. Posting should hence be in a first-person, diary-type format. In their online activities, accredited persons must not disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organisation involved in the Games. 

Q: Can I answer questions from the media asked through internet or social media?

A: YES; in the same way as offline, accredited persons are allowed - but under no obligation - to answer questions from the media asked through internet or social media. They should also be vigilant about their postings and keep in mind that what they say and post on the internet and social media will be in the public domain and may be used by the media. In essence, they post their opinions and any other materials at their own risk and they should make it clear that the views expressed are their own. 

Q: Can I share photos taken from Olympic venues?

A: YES; accredited persons can share still photographs taken within or outside competition venues and other Olympic venues on social media and internet provided such postings are not used for commercial purposes and respect applicable laws and the rights of others. Please note that specific requirements apply in the perimeter of the Olympic Villages (see below “Can I post photos or videos taken within the Olympic Villages?”).  

Q: Can I share videos taken from within Olympic venues?

A: Accredited persons can record video or audio content within or outside competition venues and other Olympic venues, with non-professional recording material (no TV equipment, tripods or monopods are allowed). However, video or audio content taken from 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) must only be for personal use and must not be uploaded or shared on any website, blog, social media page, photo- or video-sharing sites, or other mobile application. Broadcasting images via live-streaming applications (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat) is prohibited inside Olympic venues. 

Accredited persons can share video or audio content taken outside competition venues and other Olympic venues on social media and the internet provided that such posting is not for commercial purposes and respects applicable laws and the rights of others. 

Q: Can I post photos or videos taken within the Olympic Village?

A: Accredited persons can take photos within the Olympic Village (except in areas designated as “no picture areas”) and such photos can be shared on the internet or social media. However, it is important to keep in mind that if another person’s image is included or referred to in a posting such person’s permission should be obtained beforehand. 

Accredited persons can also record videos or audio content in the Olympic Village but only for personal use and such content video or audio content must not be uploaded or shared on any website, blog, social media account, public photo- or video-sharing sites or mobile application. Broadcasting images via live-streaming applications (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat) is prohibited inside the Olympic Village. 

Persons staying in the Olympic Village are also required to respect the protected atmosphere of the Olympic Villages and are not allowed to report on the activities of other residents, unless they have obtained such other persons’ consent beforehand. 

Q: Can I post about my sponsors during the Games?

A: As a principle, accredited persons should only use social media during the period of the Games for the purposes of sharing their experiences and communicating with their friends, family and supporters and not for commercial and/or advertising purposes. Accredited persons may only post about their sponsors, promote any brand, product or service on social or digital media or otherwise use social and digital media in a manner that creates or implies any association between the Games or the IOC and a third party, or its products and services, if they have obtained the prior written approval of the IOC or their National Olympic Committee.  

All competitors, coaches, trainers and officials must ensure that their activities on the internet and social media comply with the requirements of Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter and the related instructions issued by the IOC, Rio 2016 Organising Committee and their respective National Olympic Committees. The Rule 40 Guidelines issued by the IOC contain limited exceptions to permit advertising by Olympic sponsors or, in certain circumstances, by other sponsors running existing campaigns.  

Q: Can I use the Olympic symbol or other Olympic properties in my internet and social media posts?

A: Accredited persons are not allowed to use the Olympic symbol on social and digital media. Only members of accredited media are authorised to use the Olympic symbol for factual and news editorial purposes, for example in a news article covering the Games. The word “Olympic” and other Olympic-related terminology can be used by accredited persons on social and digital media but only for editorial/factual purposes (for example to describe and report about their experience at the Games). The use of the Rio 2016 emblem or mascots is subject to the prior written approval of Rio 2016 Organising Committee, while the use of the National Olympic Committees’ emblems is subject to the relevant National Olympic Committees.

National Olympic Committees may issue specific rules regarding the use of their emblems.  

In any event, the Olympic symbol and the other Olympic properties must not be used for commercial purposes, or in a manner that suggests any association between the Olympic Games or the IOC and a third party, or its products and services, or any kind of endorsement by the IOC or the Rio 2016 Organising Committee.