Olympics awash in Twitter, for better or worseReported by SFGate on Tuesday, 31 July 2012 (on July 31, 2012)
Olympics awash in Twitter, for better or worse
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Updated 08:24 a.m., Tuesday, July 31, 2012
—a television viewers uprising over Olympic broadcaster NBC's decision not to live stream the opening ceremony. For Olympics organizers who pride themselves on putting on a carefully choreographed — obsessively controlled, some would say — 17-day show, the bursts of Twitter activity are like gamma rays escaping from a solar flare. The immediacy and public nature of Twitter and its propensity to induce off-the-cuff irreverence, and sometimes breathtaking ugliness, has added a new and chaotic element to an event where everything from urine samples to sponsors' logos to London traffic is arranged with overcaffeinated attention to detail worthy of a royal wedding. The IOC, Miah says, has tried to exert control by creating its own social media hub — gathering athletes' tweets and posts from Facebook, the other formidable player in this landscape. On Saturday, U.S. women's soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo launched a Twitter outburst against Brandi Chastain, the former American soccer player who is now an analyst on NBC. Dozens of athletes, including some British soccer players, have taken to Twitter to promote their sponsors' products, a violation of Olympic rules that could theoretically lead to their expulsions. British lawmaker Aidan Burley earned a sharp rebuke from fellow conservatives after he tweeted that Danny Boyle's critically acclaimed opening ceremony, which told the story of Britain's history in a rousing mix of music, symbolism and showmanship, was "leftie multicultural crap." A British journalist said his Twitter account was blocked after he criticized NBC's coverage of the opening ceremony and posted the e-mail of a network executive. Andy Hunt, the head of the British Olympic association, found himself dealing with a double whammy of Twitter eruptions — defending his star diver against social-network vitriol while vowing to look into whether the host country's soccer players should be disciplined for using the site for "ambush marketing."
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