Conflicting reports about a rumored social media ban for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia led to outrage online this week, but a closer look at the policies shows that the guidelines aren’t any different from any other Winter Games.
The discrepancies regarding the social media policies for Sochi started Friday, when a report on TheAtlanticWire.com quoted Vasily Konov
, a sports reporter with Russia's top news agency, as saying that any reporter caught using their phones would be stripped of their accreditation.
"Reporters covering the 2014 Sochi Winter Games in February will not be tweeting, Instagramming, Vining, or Pinteresting the Olympics because they stand to be stripped of their access if they are caught using their iPhone or any other amateur gadgets to post photos," The Atlantic's Connor Simpson wrote.
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But International Olympic Committee spokesperson Mark Adams refuted that report in an email to USA Today's "For The Win" blog Monday.
"Please take as many photos as you like!" Adams wrote. "Sharing pix on social media positively encouraged."
The only thing that's banned in Sochi — and at any Olympic competition — is shooting video, which is not allowed because of restrictions from the sale of the Games' broadcast rights.
"Accredited media may freely utilize social media platforms or websites for bona fide reporting purposes. Photos taken by accredited photographers may be published for editorial purposes on social media platforms or websites in accordance with the Photographers Undertaking," the official Olympic guidelines state.
"Participants and other accredited persons cannot post any video and/or audio of the events, competitions or any other activities which occur at Olympic Venues. Such video and/or audio must only be for personal use and must not be uploaded and/or shared to a posting, blog, or tweet on any social-media platforms, or to a website."
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