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London 2012 Olympics: Games Maker Volunteers Face Twitter And Facebook Restrictions

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Games Maker volunteers are told not to use social media in certain ways
Games Maker volunteers are told not to use social media in certain ways

Volunteers at the London 2012 Olympics, known as "Games Makers" have been given strict guidelines governing their social media use during the event, causing affront to some volunteers.

Games makers will not be allowed to post pictures, or release backstage details when posting on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. They will have to keep information regarding their location and the location of athletes and dignitaries secret.

The rules are set out in a password protected area of the Games Makers’ area of Locog’s website, and are being continually updated as the London Olympics draws closer. They make it clear that social media interaction discussing the London 2012 Olympics is to be strictly controlled by the communications team.

Games Makers will not be able to speak to the press without prior permission, or make any comment on what they experience as a London 2012 Games Maker.

This has caused a ruckus among the volunteers, which has paradoxically been argued out on a Facebook wall.

One volunteer posted angrily on a Games Maker Facebook group his reaction to some of the restrictions:

‎"You should also not contribute to any groups or other tools that relate to your experience at London 2012, with the exception of the official spaces to do this provided by London 2012."

"Because of this I have cancelled my application. I do not want to be associated with anything that is that controlling.

"Bye all"

One games maker defended the London 2012 social media policy however, saying that they had all agreed to this when they signed up. Another volunteer was quick to point out what he felt was an “unfair” clause

"The trick is that Terms and Conditions change as time passes: they say 'As social media is an area that is rapidly growing more complex we’ll be updating this guide from time to time to keep you up to date', ie they can add whatever they want.

"If you notice the version that is currently on the website, it is version 4 and the paragraph that is quoted above [you should not contribute to any groups] seems to have been added recently (different colour from the rest of the text in the pdf file if you look carefully). His decision [to leave the Olympic volunteering team] is a brave one and possibly the right one"

Another games maker was more appreciative of the guidelines: "I respect that LOCOG has a tough task, and is using a broad brush as a 'catch all' but as *** has pointed out, our previous posts about helping each other with accommodation, transport and friendship is not Games specific, we don't know anything at the moment so its all hypothetical. Once we know 'something' then we will know what not to say!"

A spokesman for Locog told the Huffington Post UK: "They aren’t really restrictions more like guidelines, which most organisations have now that social media is so prevalent.

"It’s to protect them as well as us, and at the end of the say staff and volunteers are there to help put on the games, although we want people to have a fantastic time as well."

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