These FAQ are provided by the IOC for information purposes only. Participants and other accredited persons are invited to consult the IOC Social Media, Blogging and Internet Guidelines (the “Guidelines”) in their full version, available online at http://www.olympic.org/news/media-resources and the NOC Extranet.
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 International Federations and members of media accredited to the Olympic Games (“Participants”).
Q: When do the Guidelines apply?
A: The Guidelines apply from the opening of the Olympic Villages (30 January 2014), until the closing of the Olympic Villages (26 February 2014).
Q: Can I use social media or update my blog/website during my participation in the Olympic Games?
A: YES; the IOC encourages Participants to blog about their experience at the Olympic Games but requests that certain rules are observed. In particular, Participants’ activities on social media and the internet should comply with the Olympic Charter and be consistent with the Olympic values of “Friendship, Excellence and Respect”. 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 Participants 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 Participants or third parties are also forbidden under the Guidelines.
During the period of the Olympic Games, Participants are not allowed to commercialise their social media and internet activity (see further below “Can I post about my sponsors during the Olympic Games?”).
Q: Can I post about the competitions?
A: YES; Participants can post about their participation in the competitions, other competitions or their experiences generally during the Olympic Games, but they should not assume the role of a journalists or media outlet. Posting should hence be in first-person, diary-type format.
In their online activities, Participants must not disclose any information which is confidential or private in relation to any other person or organisation involved in the Olympic Games.
Q: Can I answer questions from the media asked through internet or social media?
A: YES; in the same way as offline, Participants are allowed - but under no obligation - to answer questions from the media asked through internet or social media. Participants 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.
Q: Can I share photos taken from Olympic venues?
A: YES; Participants 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 Olympic Venues?
A: Participants 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 (including from within the Olympic Villages or the Olympic Park) must only be for personal use and must not be uploaded or shared on any website, blog, social media page, public photo- or video-sharing sites or mobile application.
Participants 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 respect applicable laws and the rights of others.
Q: Can I post photos or videos taken within the Olympic Villages?
A: YES; Participants can take photos within the Olympic Villages (except in areas designated as “no picture areas”) and such photos can be posted 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.
Videos or audio content recorded within the Olympic Village must only be for personal use and must not be uploaded or shared on any website, blog, social media page, public photo- or video-sharing sites or mobile application.
Persons staying in the Olympic Villages 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 Olympic Games?
A: NO; Unless they have obtained the prior written approval of the IOC or their NOC, Participants must not, either promote any brand, product or service on their social media pages, blogs or personal websites, or use social media and internet in a manner that creates or implies any association between the Olympic Games or the IOC and a third party, or its products and services.
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, Sochi 2014 and their respective National Olympic Committees.
Q: Can I use the Olympic symbol or other Olympic properties in my internet and social media posts?
A: Participants and other accredited persons are not allowed to use the Olympic symbol (the five interlocking rings) in their postings, blogs or tweets. 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 Olympic Games.
The word “Olympic” and other Olympic-related terminology can be used by Participants in their social media and internet activities but only for editorial/factual purposes (for example to describe and report about their experience at the Games). The use of the Sochi 2014 emblem or mascots is subject to the prior written approval of Sochi 2014, while the use of the NOC emblems is subject to the relevant NOCs.
In any event, the Olympic symbol and other Olympic properties must not be used for commercial purposes, or in a manner that suggests any kind of endorsement by the IOC or Sochi 2014. The Olympic symbol and other Olympic properties should be used in their normal design or wording.