Olympic Committee Clarifies Social Media Rules for Sochi 2014

Journalists can use Instagram and Twitter to take photos, but not videos.

ByABC News
November 12, 2013, 10:20 AM

Nov. 12, 2013— -- The Russian news agency R-Sport has came under fire for saying that reporters could have their Olympics credentials revoked for using smartphones as part of their journalist toolbox.

Vasily Konov, the head of R-Sport, reportedly said that using smartphones to document the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, was a "serious violation," but something got lost in translation.

Mark Adams, a spokesman for the International Olympic Committee (IOC), clarified Konov's comments.

As reported by USA Today's sports blog For the Win, Adams encouraged reporters to use social media services like Instagram and Twitter as part of their coverage. "Sharing pix on social media positively encouraged," he wrote in an email. "Please take as many photos as you like!"

Taking photos with social media accounts are allowed, but taking video is not. Adams said the video restriction stems from the Olympic Games' broadcast rights. The IOC's official social media policy also reflects Adams' recent statements.

"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 (including the Olympic Villages)," the IOC said. "Such video and/or audio ... must not be uploaded and/or shared to a posting, blog or tweet on any social media platforms, or to a website."

The policy makes no mention of nonparticipants or others who are not accredited.

The upcoming Winter Olympics has become a recent hotbed of issues. Sochi Olympic Security's ability to keep the games safe has been called into question after a bus bombing in southern Russia.

In addition, Olympic athletes and visitors might be fined or possibly deported for violating the country's anti-gay law. But, at least, if any of these scenarios comes to life, rest assured can be sure that journalists will be there tweeting and Instagramming the news as it happens.