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Recent Olympic games have been a gold mine of clips and GIFs, ranging from the games themselves to the reactions from athletes and fans. Several have gone on to viral stardom, long since losing their original context to just serve as funny reactions. This year though there may not be as many circulating, with the Olympic Committee officially putting a stop to the use of GIFs, vines, and clips by press outlets. The broadcast rules delivered to press state explicitly that not only can the press not broadcast the games in any manner, but they can’t post the short captures in any form either. 

Additionally, the use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.

The reasoning behind the ban is to keep people viewing the Olympics through their designated channels. This is also to keep in compliance with the Olympic Committee’s rules about “on demand” viewing. However, they do allow for up to thirty seconds of an individual event to be broadcast, with a cap of six total minutes of actual event recordings per day per outlet. 

McKayla Maroney Not Impressed Face Receiving Medal - Press Prohibited from Sharing Rio Olympics GIFs and Vines

Journalists on the ground in Rio have stricter rules to abide by when it comes to social media and the Olympic games. They are strictly allowed to only post video and audio recordings on personal accounts (“in a diary format”), unless given permission by the Olympic Committee. The Sochi games in 2014 had a similar rule for those seeing the games in person. The rule stated that the dissemination of any “moving images” taken within an Olympic venue was not allowed, though it didn’t specify GIFs. The new language will apply to all press whether they are in Rio or reporting locally. You’ll still likely be able to find plenty of user made GIFs on Reddit though, since the rules only apply to news and media outlets, not to individuals creating the clips for personal use. 

What do you think of this rule by the Olympic Committee? Do you think we’ll see a decrease in Olympic GIFs? Will that impact your enjoyment of the games? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Kindra Pring

Staff Writer

Teacher's aid by day. Gamer by night. And by day, because I play my DS on my lunch break. Ask me about how bad my aim is.

  • nomuru2d

    I don’t get it – is this a move being done to prevent them from being a laughingstock? Seems counterintuitive if that’s the case.

  • Chris Standish

    Depends on how cynical you’re feeling I guess.

    Sure, I get it – they want to have people go through the ‘designated’ channels allowed to show the games, making sure to get that sweet sweet revenue.

    I don’t think it’ll have nearly as much effect as they think though – Honestly, how many schmucks have tried to control the internet before? Too many to count, and every time they fail miserably – or even have it utterly blow up in their face.

    On the other hand, when you hear about how corrupt and inefficient the government has been to the point they can’t pay their police and other emergency services, mass strikes and citizens livid at their govt’s incompetence. Along with hearing about how filthy and officials warning left and right that these facilities are filthy and disease ridden – I mean can you imagine being on a rowing team and being informed that you’re going to be performing in sewage?

    I think this years games are going to be a shit show (literally) and they know it – so this is their attempt to try to ‘contain’ it.

    And we all know how that’s going to turn out.

  • Psyvenrix

    This is good. Nothing will kill off the Olympics quicker than having a huge pay wall thrown around it.

    This removal of free advertising will reduce interest in the event and the IOC will feel the pinch in years to come.

    Sporting events are a great way to foster a community. Unless you choke the spirit out with media deals. Then it segments the community by wealth.

  • Robert “Robovski” Turner

    I hear a collective clearing of throats before a resounding “Go fuck yourself” is heard from the internet. I feel the urge to go and just start trying to meme something now just because they don’t want me to. I may settle for just deriding the Olympic Committee instead as they are a bunch of sleezy cleptocrats…

  • Michele

    I believe preventing the event to be shown to everybody is somehow against the spirit of the “competition”.

    To me is a not issue. Olympics is not relevant in any form, medals are just metal without value. Only the athlets should feel rewarded based on what they believe are their personal goal. Other then that is just a show like another for most.

    Still this attempt to control something you shouldn’t is not welcome.

  • Sebastian Mikulec

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that unauthorized gifs are going to be the least of the olympics’ problems.

  • Good luck enforcing that

  • Casey

    No one actually cares about the olympics, so throwing another hurdle up around them will do and solve nothing.
    Congratulations, you have wasted your time.

  • The press in these cases probably signed agreements of one sort or another. However, a lot of people haven’t. I’m gonna dedicate some extra time to memeing it up on Twitter with as much stuff as I can possibly find about the Olympics just out of spite. 😛

  • webkilla

    I get why they’re doing it – the television coverage licences and whatnot are a huge source of income for the olympic comitee – and spoiling everything via social media sort of ruins it – but honestly… this just isn’t enforcable

  • Michael P

    I find it surprising people still actually watch the olympics tbh. Nobody I know ever really mentions it other than in passing, even when it was here in Oz. My only recent knowledge of it is the above image (no clue who she actually is) and I heard yesterday a Russian murked a would be robber. That’s it.

    Although it might be anecdotal, I’m thinking it’s irrelevance might be catching on and they’re doing what they can to maximise the precious sheckels. Knowing the internet, the response to this will be a very bored “meh”.

  • Kev Lew

    so the Olympics, an international grand athletic event is turning pay-per-view and no one is allowed to share it around? Interesting tactic considering this year is already a shit-show with all the issues with having brazil host.

  • Old media never learn.

  • Magoo

    Putting an olympic GIF right in the middle of the article, WP ma’am. WP.