The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has insisted it is keen to “actively” encourage competitors to use social networking, following guidelines issued for the London 2012 Games. The IOC said that athletes should “post, blog and tweet their experiences”, but warned that if guidelines are breached, such as using the platforms for advertising purposes, it would look to shut down online operations or begin legal proceedings. Any athlete whose use of social media is deemed to break the rules will have their accreditation removed, which would disqualify them from the games

The guidelines mean that competitors will not be able to use the official Olympics logo and internet domain names and URLs including the word "Olympic" or "Olympics" will not be authorised either, unless permitted by the IOC. London 2012 will be the first Olympic Games with widespread use of social media from inside the competition – photography is now permitted and Twitter, which was in its infancy in 2008, is now widespread. However, sharing video or audio files from inside Olympic venues is prohibited due to TV licensing agreements.

Anyone without official sponsorship of the Olympics had better be careful…