Melon Farmers Original Version

London Olympics 2012

Restrictions and control


Updated: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Journalist suspended from twitter after criticising US TV coverage

Link Here1st August 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Here are three things that NBC prevented their public from being able to watch on network television so far this Olympic Games: live footage of the opening ceremony; live footage of Saturday's swimming showdown between Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte; live footage of the USA men's basketball dream team.

A fourth thing they do not want people to see is the email address of Gary Zenkel, the executive responsible for this shambles. And a fifth thing is my Twitter feed, which over the weekend contained a couple of dozen occasionally uncouth observations about their coverage, several of which were accompanied by the trending hashtag: #NBCfail.

Twitter's guidelines forbid users from publishing what they call private information, including private email addresses . There is plenty of sense in this. But I did not Tweet a private email address. I Tweeted a corporate address for Mr Zenkel, which is widely listed online, and is identical in form to that of tens of thousands of those at NBC.

I was not contacted by NBC or Twitter before my account was suspended.

...Read the full article

Update: Twitter Account Restored

1st August 2012. See  article from by Guy Adams

[Shortly before 6pm London time] I had received an email from Twitter support, announcing that I was no longer verboten in Twitter-land:

Your account was suspended because a complaint was filed stating that you had violated our terms of service, it read. We have just received an updated notice from the complainant retracting the original request. Therefore, your account has been unsuspended, and no further action is required from you at this time.


[Twitter] has yet to properly address growing suspicions that its decision to suspend my account was motivated by a business relationship with NBC. The firms are running a cross-promotion throughout the Olympics. Was that why it chose to ignore its own rules?

Yesterday, the website, which is supposedly dedicated to the democratic flow of conversation, did admit it had actually contacted its corporate partner urging it to complain so that my account could be shut down in the first place. A mea culpa on its blog said last night: We want to apologise for the part of this story we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a tweet that was in violation of the Twitter rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our trust and safety team to report the violation... Our trust and safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other. We do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. [But close enough that's exactly what they just did!].

Extract: So what are Twitter's censorship rules

1st August 2012. See  article from

Twitter's rules, available via its help centre , say:

  • Users must not impersonate others in a manner intended to mislead or deceive others.

  • Tweeters are not allowed to infringe companies' trademarks by either assuming their name or logo as part of their profile. Related Articles

  • Members of the service must not publish other people's private and confidential information -- such as credit card numbers or home address -- without their express permission.

  • People will be permanently suspended from the site if they perpetually send spam or abuse -- which is defined as specific threats of violence against others .

  • And tweeters must not infringe copyright rules, use the site for illegal purposes (adhering to the country's laws from which a person is tweeting) or misuse Twitter verification badges (which denote an account's authenticity with a blue tick).

  • Twitter users must not use obscene or pornographic images in either their profile picture or user background.

...Read the full article



Update: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

Insulting tweets get Swiss footballer sent home

Link Here31st July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

The Swiss Olympic delegation have sent defender Michel Morganella, 23, home from the Games after he posted the message in the wake of the team's 2-1 defeat to South Korea on Sunday.

The star posted the message shortly after the game, saying that South Koreans can go burn and referred to them as a bunch of mongoloids.

Gian Gilli, chef de mission for the Swiss Olympic delegation at the Games, said: Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter.

We condemn his comments, which are in fundamental violation of the IOC's Olympic charter and Swiss Olympic's own ethics charter.



Extract: The 1936 Berlin Olympics?...

International blocking of BBC radio as Olympic Rules Kick In

Link Here31st July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

The impact of the commercialisation of the Games, with lucrative sponsorship and rights deals, means another British virtue - freedom of speech - is rather less free than normal for the duration of London 2012. A particularly disturbing example of this is the BBC - which has said that due to rights restrictions various radio programmes, ranging from the prestigious Radio 4 Today news programme to the lighter Radio 2 Chris Evans' Breakfast Show and Radio 5 Live, whether live or on i-Player, may not be available to audiences abroad for the duration of the Games.

While the BBC World Service has a proud history of broadcasting into authoritarian regimes, faced with its lucrative rights deal for UK broadcasting of the Games, the BBC is blocking its own output from being available internationally. It has a helpfully succinct explanation:

The BBC's agreement with the International Olympic Committee means we are not allowed to broadcast anything online outside the UK from the Olympic Park or Olympic venues. As a result this programme may need to be blanked for International listeners due to rights issues surrounding Olympic content in programmes.

Perhaps conscious of quite how ludicrous this is, and damaging to the BBC's own image and values, by Sunday the BBC had apparently carried out some damage-limitation negotiations with the International Olympic Committee so at least the Today programme could be restored to international listeners:

After discussion, the IOC and the BBC have agreed that there is no need to block our international streams of Radio 4 programmes with a wide news agenda. Radio 5 Live (apart from the news programme Up All Night) and 5 Live Olympics Extra will remain available only in the UK.

...Read the full article



Update: Jobsworths vs Art...

Street art takes collateral damage in the Olympic war against graffiti

Link Here25th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

For many, London is the number one place in the world for street art. But now as the Olympics approaches, many artists are complaining that artwork is being removed by council jobsworths.

According to street artists, walls which they say have not been touched in years are now being cleaned off ahead of the Olympics.

Authorities say that there has been no official remit for graffiti to be removed - rather, they just clean the walls if someone complains.

But Geoff Whitehouse from Very Nearly Almost , a magazine which documents street art, disagrees:

It's been going on for over a year or more with a general clean-up around Hackney. This is part of a wider issue where councils proclaim to a zero tolerance policy on graffiti as it is vandalism and deemed illegal, yet will also help protect work by Banksy.

Darren Cullen is a professional artist who was arrested last week on suspicion of incitement to commit criminal damage. He said he was questioned over his links to a graffiti website. The artist - who was approached to paint the Athletes' Village - was released by police but has been banned from going anywhere near Olympic venues.

One artist who has had a piece painted over is Mau Mau. His piece, a comment on the Games' alleged corporate and environmental impact, was painted on the side of a privately-owned warehouse which he had permission to paint in Ealing, west London, in July. It lasted six days before it was painted over by the council.

A spokeswoman for Ealing Council said the piece was removed following a complaint:

This is in line with our policy to remove all reported graffiti as soon as possible, unless we have been made aware in advance that it is there with the consent of the building owner and it is not offensive [to Locog or their beloved sponsors presumably]



Offsite Article: How I was busted by the Olympics Advertisement Enforcement Office...

Link Here22nd July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
It was only an innocent double entendre about rings of fire. But even multi-award-winning comics can fall foul of Olympic censor. By Stewart Lee

See article from



Offsite Article: Trifling Case of Repression...

Link Here 22nd July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Police arrested actors for spilling custard, say Olympic protesters. Former Games commissioner says 25 officers took performers away in handcuffs at demonstration against sponsorship

See article from



Extract: Father of Olympic Branding...

My rules are being abused. London has gone too far.

Link Here 21st July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Britain celebrates the Olympics...
In the Locog approved manner

As the world's media descend on London for the Games, several international outlets have pointed out that London does not seem in a party mood.

And it's not only down to the weather. For the Diamond Jubilee the streets and shop windows were covered in Union Jacks, Will and Kate mugs, tea towels and the like.

This time round you don't see any references to the Games in shop windows or on the streets -- people are too scared , one small business owner was reported as saying by The New York Times.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: Locog: the ultimate bad sport...

Link Here 20th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Natalie Haynes gets to grips with the rules and regulations policing the brand of the London Games

See article from



Offsite Article: Censorship Olympics Article Now Censored...

Link Here 17th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
It beggars belief, but it can now be a criminal offence to use words like Games, Gold and Summer, or even a picture of the London skyline. The reason? An outrageous abuse of our laws to protect the profits of Olympic sponsors...

See article from



Update: Brand or Land Army?...

A uniformed army of jobsworths search for businesses using banned Olympic words

Link Here16th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

  Hundreds of Olympics officers of the
Brand Army

Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals, in a highly organised mission.

Almost 300 enforcement officers will be seen across the country checking firms to ensure they are not staging ambush marketing or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald's, Coca-Cola and BP.

The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, refused to rule out that even more soldiers may be called upon to help with security. However, as well as the regular Army, the Olympic brand army will start its work with a vengeance today.

Wearing purple caps and tops, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are heading the biggest brand repression operation staged in the UK. Under legislation specially introduced for the London Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices and bring court action with fines of up to 20,000. The ODA seems to comprise of council workers seconded from Trading Substandards.

Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including gold , silver and bronze , summer , sponsors and London . Publicans have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event.

The scale of the brand enforcement squad is likely to intensify criticism that the Olympics has become too corporate. Paul Jordan, an expert in brand protection at Bristows solicitors said they were almost certainly tougher than at previous Olympics: No other brands would have people walking the streets being their eyes and ears, protecting their interests.



Extract: Olympics Gets a Reputation for Miserable Control Freaks...

Hopefully they will be a bit too short staffed to enforce restrictions on linking to their website

Link Here15th July 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control

Our attention has been drawn to the terms of use of the London Olympics 2012 website, which make it very clear under what circumstances you're allowed link to the site:

Links to the Site.

You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted.

Got that? You're only allowed link to the official site of the Olympics if you're going to say nice things about the Olympics.

...Read the full article



Offsite Article: We'd win gold at the Olympics for enforcing bully-boy rules...

Link Here16th June 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the rich commercial backers of the Games. Heaven forbid another firm takes a sliver of the limelight intended for Visa or McDonald's.

See article from



Offsite Article: Official Olympic Protestors...

Link Here 24th May 2012
Full story: London Olympics 2012...Restrictions and control
Activists who set themselves up as official Olympics protesters are suspended from Twitter after complaint from London 2012 organisers

See article from


12th May

Extract: Don't Even Think About It!...

The Advert Censors ask LOCOG about the restrictions on advertising which references the London Olympics

The Advert Censors at ASA have asked London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) about the restrictions on adverts referencing the London Olympics.

ASA : What top tips can you give marketers planning ad campaigns around the Olympics on how to avoid breaching LOCOG rules?

LOCOG : Our legal rights are very wide and therefore any Olympic themed campaign is likely to infringe them -- even if it doesn't refer explicitly to the Games. If a business is looking to undertake a marketing campaign which capitalises on the Games we would ask them to consider the ethics of doing so.

To understand the scope of our rights, we would recommend businesses look at the faqs and documents available at

ASA : What are the common pitfalls that non-Olympic-partner advertisers run into?

LOCOG : Some businesses think that if they don't use any of our logos or refer explicitly to the Games, this won't infringe our rights. However, the London Olympics Association Right is drafted widely so that any representation which creates an association between a business or brand with the Games (subject to certain defences) infringes the right.

...Read the full article


28th April

 Offsite Article: Olympics Police Uniforms...

The chilling (and balaclava-clad) face of modern British policing: London siege reveals armed-to-the-teeth team preparing for the Olympic Games

See article from


28th April

Update: All Set for the London 1984 Olympics...

Spectators to be banned from posting their own photos on Facebook

  Enjoy the Games!

Well it seems that Olympic authorities are predictably going to treat spectators as shit.

Amateur Photographer reports that it will be against Olympic rules to tweet, share on Facebook or in any way share your photos of the event.

Quite how this will be policed is beyond comprehension and one would hope police officers are not going to be expected to pursue anyone seen posting photos on Instagram.

The London 2012 conditions state:

Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes.

Coming after moves to restrict public demonstrations, photographers being interrogated on public footpaths and concern around heavy-handed commercial restrictions on what logos you can wear inside the Olympic village, this is yet another worrying development.

Rather than being the celebration organisers promised, London 2012 is rapidly risking becoming one of the most intimidating and restrictive events seen for decades.


7th April

 Offsite Article: Preparing for an Olympic Lockdown?...

So why are non-sports journalists based in London being advised to seek state accreditation?

See article from


4th March

Update: Paying the Olympic Price...

Parody not allowed and satellite dishes forcibly removed in the name of beautification

Creating parodies goes to the heart of comedy and is one of the most effective ways to highlight social issues.

But parodies of films and music aren't allowed under UK copyright law, unless you have explicit permission of the copyright owner.

A political YouTube video that may have infringed copyright got over 90,000 views when published last year by Mother's Best Child, before being abruptly taken down thanks to the Olympics Committee.

Update: Dishing out repression

4th March 2012. See  article from

Residents of every property in Shepherdess Walk in Hackney, East London, were told by their local council to remove their satellite dishes or face eviction.

Most of the dishes have been fixed to the front of houses for more than ten years. But Hackney Borough Council says planning permission was never granted.

Only people living in listed buildings need planning permission for a satellite dish (up to about a meter diameter), but the properties under duress are in fact listed.

The council has now told housing trust Circle 33 to make their tenants take down the dishes and fit them to the rear of houses - or switch to cable.

It is believed that the residents are the victims of a bid to clean up Hackney before the start of the Olympic Games in London in June.

resident Tony Emberson said:

I got the letter with only three days to sort something out. Residents believe the council's order is part of a bid to smarten the area up ahead of the Olympics, many events of which will be staged from the Olympic Park in the neighbouring borough of Newham.

The deadline was extended to three weeks once the press got hold of the story.


26th November

Offsite: Unoccupying the Olympics...

Authorities taking precautions against the prospect of an Occupy London Olympics protest

A series of Home Office proposals could ban protests during the London 2012 Olympic games. In reaction to the longevity and scale of recent Occupy London takeovers of public and private space at St Paul's Cathedral, Finsbury Square and a former UBS bank, ministers are reported to be drafting legislation loosely based on part 3 of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 -- paying particular note to restricting tents and sleeping equipment for up to 90 days around exclusion zones. Police and authorised officers will be allowed to disperse protests quickly. Presumably with reasonable force .

...Read the full article


27th October

Olympic Word Games...

London Olympics News Service claims that competitor sound bites will be uncensored

Tim Barnett, the head of the Olympic and Paralympic News Service, which will provide quick flash quotes to the world's media during the Games, said he strongly refuted any suggestion that there may be censorship of athletes' comments.

We will report fairly and accurately what happens in the mixed zone [where athletes give quick remarks after events], Barnett told more than 500 of the world's media at the World Press Briefing in London.

Barnett's assurances come after the Olympic News Service failed to report any athlete opinion or comment about the London riots during the beach volleyball test event. At the time OPNS staff said they were instructed to only report comments made about sport.


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