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Olympic athletes can tweet away again (kinda)

The International Olympic Committee has once again told its athletes that they are free to use social media all they want, with some caveats.

In its official release (pdf) on the use of social media, the IOC states all blog posts, Facebook updates and tweets "should be in a first-person, diary-type format and should not be in the role of a journalist - i.e. they must not report on competition or comment on the activities of other participants or accredited persons."

Additionally, athletes are not allowed to use their social media to promote commercial interests, and if any of their tweets are vulgar or x-rated, they could be booted immediately.

This is very similar to the somewhat confusing restrictions the IOC places on athletes at the 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver. Although many athletes cautiously dipped their toes in the Twitter pool, the rules led several prominent athletes and frequent social media users like skier Lindsey Vonn and speedskater Nick Pearson to simply go silent online for the duration of the games.

Dozens of athletes blogged during the last Olympics in Beijing in 2008, when Twitter was not yet well-known, but the uploading of videos was banned and pictures restricted to prevent copyright infringements, Reuters reports.

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