London Olympics volunteers told not to share on social media

The 70,000-strong army of volunteers who will be helping the London 2012 Olympic Games to run smoothly have been told that they mustn’t mention details of their location, their role or any backstage information about athletes, celebrities or “dignitaries” on social media.

Considering the nature of social media on sites like Twitter and Facebook is to share precisely that information the London Olympics organisers appear to be issuing rather optimistic social media guidelines for volunteers.

The LOCOG guidelines issued to ‘Games Makers’, as the volunteers are known, don’t really seem to fit into the International Olympic Committee’s rather generous claim (opens PDF) to “actively encourage and support athletes and other accredited persons at the Olympic Games to take part in ‘social media’ and to post, blog and tweet their experiences”. Or perhaps the people who are giving up not only their time during the games don’t count as ‘accredited persons’?

In what appear to be very optimistic instructions, volunteers are being

Locog guidelines: the first rule of volunteering...

told they mustn’t disclose their location, break any news about an athlete or post photos or video of areas of the Olympic site that are not visible to the public. Volunteers are, however, welcome to disseminate any official London 2012-sanctioned information to their followers.

Ironically, a LOCOG spokesperson described the guidelines as “practical” in a statement to the BBC – quite how policing all the tweets, Facebook updates, Foursquare check-ins, YouTube uploads and Instagram photos of 70,000 people is practical is not explained – maybe it will become the job of some of the volunteers to do this?