Instagram blocks Olympic champion from posting videos of her own gold medals

The Jamaican athlete Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100m and 200m sprints at Tokyo 2020

Gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah: ‘I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic because I did not own the right to do so.’  Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

Gold medalist Elaine Thompson-Herah: ‘I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic because I did not own the right to do so.’ Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA

 

Instagram blocked Jamacian athlete Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah after the double Olympic champion shared footage of her victories in Tokyo.

Thompson-Herah posted video of her family celebrating her golds in the 100m and 200m along with some TV footage of the races – and discovered shortly afterwards that she had lost access to the app.

“I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days,” the sprinter wrote on Twitter, a reference to her appearance in the 4x100m where she will have a chance to win her third gold of the Olympics. Her access to Instagram was restored several hours later.

The International Olympic Committee owns intellectual property rights for the Games and strictly enforces them. The IOC netted $4bn from the broadcast rights for the 2018 Winter Games and 2020 Summer Games alone.

“Rights Holding Broadcasters [RHBs] have the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic Games,” the IOC told Reuters.

“This includes distribution on social media, where athletes are invited to share the content provided by the RHBs on their accounts but cannot post competition content natively. Should that occur, the removal of such content from social media platforms happens automatically.”

The IOC says that enforcing its intellectual property ensures it can redistribute as much money as possible back into sport.

“The income from the sales of the broadcasting rights is an important element in the financing of the Olympic movement and helps building the Olympic stage on which athletes can shine,” it said.

“The IOC redistributes more than 90 per cent of its income to the wider sporting movement, which means that every day the equivalent of $3.4 million goes to help athletes and sports organisations at all levels around the world.”

Thompson-Herah also won the 100m and 200m gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics. – Guardian