In case you can, we wanted to let you know that I will be one of the panelists today at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN’s Outside The Lines discussing social media and the Olympics. The program airs live and — I can’t believe I have to write this on my blog — check your local listings. Heh.
This was supposed to be “The Social Olympics” but all the talk of social media has mostly be negative, from a wide perspective. Two athletes have been kicked off of their respective teams for derogatory Tweets. NBC is airing many events on a tape-delayed basis while the world finds out winners on Twitter and Facebook, spoiling the evening viewing for many or taking them away from NBC altogether. Organizers in London apparently didn’t even plan for the taxation of the cellular grid as mobile and smart phone usage adversely effected GPS devices used in cycling events.
If anything, this has been The Social Media Fail Olympics. Everything from the IOC’s constrictive policies for athletes to its technical planning for venues and NBC’s ill-fated tape delays that reek of old school media thinking. But what could have changed it? Planning on the technical side, sure. But should the IOC protect the privacy of athletes and its broadcast partner’s investment by limiting participant’s social posts?
A college student-athlete can be kicked off a team for violating it’s coach’s policies, including posting something inappropriate online. Professional athletes can be fined or disciplined for Tweeting or posting items deemed detrimental to the team, league, etc. Aren’t Olympic athletes subject to the same kind of privilege-responsibility?
I’m interested in your thoughts as I prepare my own for this afternoon. And I hope you have a chance to tune in. I’ll be on with television analyst and former U.S. Women’s Soccer star Julie Foudy, Syracuse professor Robert Thompson and ESPN business and legal analyst Andrew Brandt. Should make for a lively discussion. Outside the Lines airs live at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN.