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2014 Sochi Olympics Could Ban Journalists From Social Media

Journalists covering the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games could be barred from using social media on their mobile phones at events.
Posted at 3:20 PM, Nov 11, 2013

If you want up-to-the-minute updates on the 2014 Olympics, you may have a hard time finding on Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media sites. One Russian Olympic official suggested journalists caught using those sites will be kicked out. 

Russian news website NEWSru quotes Vasily Konov, head of the Russian agency in charge of accrediation for the games, as saying the action of journalists using social media in regards to the Olympics or athletes, "will be considered a serious violation and will result in cancellation of their accreditation." 

According to TechCrunch, Konov later denied saying that, but Radio Free Europe says they also heard him talking about it.

As for the fans, they reportedly won't be subject to the strict ban, but officials say they'll be barred from bringing their own professional photography equipment.

Fox News reports only photographers with the proper, professional equipment, like SLR and digital video cameras, will be allowed to record the games. 

Russia has experienced widespread backlash for cracking down on certain freedoms. 

Including sharp criticism over the country's anti-gay propoganda laws that says citizens are subject to arrest for promoting gay lifestyle to minors. Officials have said visiting Olympic athletes will also be subject to prosecution under that law.  (Via RT

But as the Atlantic Wire points out, "this isn't a case of Russia cracking down on the rights and freedoms ahead of a world event. The 2012 Summer Olympics in London had similar restrictions on reporters' abilities to take photos and videos but it wasn't widely enforced."

The London games banned its 70,000 volunteers from posting pictures or information about certain Olympic athletes and celebrities. (Via BBC

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games begin in February.