Quoted in Politiken

Over the weekend I was quoted in Politiken, the Danish broadsheet, discussing the LOCOG attempt to control how staff, athletes and the public tweet during the Olympics.  The ‘Games Makers’ have strict tweeting rules, and Twitter have been roped in to police ‘ambush marketing’ attempts by companies who are not an official games sponsor.
Here are the quotes:

Hos den engelske afdeling af PEN, der kæmper for ytringsfrihed over hele verden, siger kampagneleder Robert Sharp, at han finder forbuddet direkte latterligt. “Det er bizart og man kan spekulere over hvilket signal OL sender ud ved netop at lægge så meget vægt på deres sponsorers interesser. Det efterlader en med en dårlig smag i munden og det strider for mig at se imod hele den olympiske ånd, der går ud på åbenhed og at dele”,  siger han.


Robert Sharp tvivler alvorligt på, at de den Olympiske Komite kan håndhæve nogen form for censur. “Vi har tidligere set i forbindelse med retssager her i Storbritannien, at selv ikke et forbud fra Højesteret har kunnet stillet meget op overfor twitter. Tværtimod tror jeg ethvert forsøg på at stoppe en twitterpost eller et opslag på Facebook vil have den modsatte effekt. Det vil sprede sig på nettet med lynets hast”, mener han.


5 Replies to “Quoted in Politiken”

  1. Hi Robert
    How come you are youted as saying that the LOCOG wants to ban spectators from tweeting about non olympic sponsor brands. I cant seem to find the source for LOCOG wanting to do that. Ceri Aikel quoted in the same article doesnt seem to exist in the LOCOG. can you help me with a source?

    1. Hold on, I don’t think I quite say that in my quote. I just say that any attempts to police twitter or facebook tend to backfire.
      As I understand it, LOCOG are seeking the collaboration of Twitter to cut down on ‘ambush’ marketing, though it’s not clear how they will do that. They have not yet answered my query on that point.
      They have clarified to me that they will seek to take down and video taken in the Olympic spaces, which is likely to be similarly unrealistic.
      Sorry, I can’t help on the point about Ceri…

  2. Just to get it straight…you are not commenting on the quote from LOCOG? As far as i can see on your blog you are linking to a januaru story about the volunteers and not a recent story about ambush marketing.
    Your quote is brought as a comment to the statement about banning spectators so i was asuming that that was the question you were asked by politiken. so I guess the journalist has been a bit fresh with the story
    Interesting where this article has its origin

  3. Kristian,
    I do apologise for the confusion on a couple of counts. When I spoke to the journalist (Lone Theils) we discussed the LOCOG policies. First, their bid to stop ‘ambush marketing’ on Twitter (this has been well reported) second, their restrictions on publishing photos and videos from inside the Olympic sites (this was put to me by the reporter, and LOCOG have since confirmed to me that it is true); and third, their policies restricting the social media output of stewards, volunteers, etcetera, which was previously reported (and I link to above). My quotes were in response to these elements, and are fairly quoted in the article.
    Will LOCOG actually ban tweets of civilians during the games? At the start of the article, the reporter makes this conjecture, inventing the most innocuous tweet that could nevertheless fall foul of what she understands to be the rules. My Danish is rusty, but when Lone writes:

    Måske ikke ligefrem en Twitterpost, der glimter af originalitet. Men den vil formentlig påkalde sig den olympiske komites opmærksomhed og vrede.

    … she uses “formentlig” (“probably”) which to my mind conveys that this is conjecture, an argument reducto ad absurdum.
    It is clearly an extreme example, but then again LOCOG have not made clear to either Lone Theils or myself the methods they will use to marshall ‘ambush marketing’. When an organisation accountable to the public leaves a gap in their communications like this, a reporter is bound to fill this vaccuum by assuming the worst! I think that it is her prerogative to do so.
    Finally, I said in my previous comment that I did not know who Ceri was, but that was a spur-of-the-moment mistake. I’ve just checked back on my correspondence with LOCOG and Ceri is the Press Officer for LOCOG! Her contact details are here, and I’m sure she can verify her comments in the article, and also clarify their policy on tweeting.

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