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Rio Olympics 2016: IOC prohibits media from making GIFs and Vines, social media fumes

Another unpopular measure comes to surface right before the Olympics kick off.

Olympics 2016
The IOC is under fire after another unpopular measure was pointed out

Social media users were angry on Thursday after it came to notice that the International Olympic Committee had banned news organizations from creating Vines and GIFs for mass sharing over social media. The IOC’s guidelines for news outlets covering the Rio Olympics clearly state - “The use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (ie GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.”

The book where the regulation was found was actually published in May 2015. However, the rule which will not go down too well with many tech savvy media persons following the game was brought to notice by Natalie DiBasio, a digital editor at USA Today. And the knives were out as people expressed their anger and amusement over the ban on social media.



The rule book says, “Broadcasting images via live-streaming applications (e.g. Periscope, Meerkat) is prohibited inside Olympic venues.” The rules are for media present and reporting the games from the venue. Media are also not allowed to live broadcast from the venue, everything must be pre-recorded and broadcast later.

However, the general public attending the events have no such rules prohibiting them from making highly popular and shareable GIFs and Vines and it remains unclear if the IOC will be able to enforce the rule if news organizations share or host GIFs made by users which some have already offered to provide. Such a clampdown, however, is not new and is becoming more and more popular among the sports authorities across the globe.

2014 saw England’s Premier League launch a campaign against spreading of goal highlights through Vine. In fact, Twitter accounts of sports websites were shut down after complaints were filed against them by the NFL. UFC and the NCAA under the Digital Media Copyright Act. 

The rule didn’t stop people attending the opening ceremony to upload their self-prepared Vines and GIFs on Twitter, Facebook and other forms of social media.

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