For me, the Olympics has always been a special time. It used to be the only time I could watch TV all day with my mom’s approval. But the main reason I love the Olympics so much is there is a tangible buzz in the air. It’s always on TV, it’s all my friends talk about, we wear Team USA apparel, and it just feels good.
This year, however, the biggest stir the Olympics have caused is in the ‘Twittersphere.’ Twitter has been flooded with Olympics-related tweets (3.5 million on opening weekend alone, compared to 305,000 in Vancouver 2012). And of those 3.5 million tweets, quite a few news stories–and lessons in Twitter etiquette– emerged.
• Guy Adams is a UK reporter who tweeted a complaint about the time delay on the Olympics–along with email address of a prominent NBC executive, instructing Twitter users to send him their complaints directly. This resulted in a suspension of his account by Twitter upon NBC’s request.
• Steven Marx used the hashtag “#NBCfail” prior to the Olympic ceremonies, because he found out he would be unable to watch any live events due to his cable subscritption. His originally harmless tweet turned into a lot of media attention.
Steven Marx had 17 twitter followers and his hashtag is now one of the most popular on twitter. Guy Adams had his Twitter voice silenced over a tweet. There was even a 17-year-old in Great Britain who was arrested for threatening and distasteful tweets.
This begs the question, what is Twitter becoming? I don’t hear of people getting arrested for remarks made in real life conversation, and we surely don’t get banned from talking at all. I feel that Twitter has outgrown the scope of it’s original form, a casual social media venue where people could be themselves. It has now become a very formal, very public atmosphere. When Twitter suspended Guy Adams’ account, it was admitted that what you say on twitter is monitored, and has consequences. In my opinion, there is nothing casual about that.
How do you feel about all the trouble Twitter users are getting into for their tweets? If you are a Twitter user, does this influence the way you tweet?