London Olympics 2012: Stop Tweeting or No Live TV Coverage!

Mon 30 July 2012 13:00, Vitto Christaldi

London Olympics 2012: Stop Tweeting or No Live TV Coverage!

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) requested visitors of the London Olympics to avoid tweeting or sending non-urgent text messages during events. The overloaded tweets and text messages stream last weekend caused the data network to be overloaded, which disrupted the live TV coverage.

The explosion of mobile phone internet usage has made London 2012 to be the first true “social media games”. About 9.66 million tweets were sent during the opening ceremony on Friday. However, the technology behind the Olympics is not as golden as the medals they offer. 

During the men’s cycling road race on Saturday, the commentators were unable to inform the viewers on the distance between the leaders and the chasing pack because the GPS information of the cyclists could not be relayed through the satellite. Many angry fans then expressed their frustrations on Twitter about the lack of information, which created even bigger network problems.

“Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say ‘Don’t, you can’t do it’ and we would certainly never prevent people. It’s just, if it’s not an urgent, urgent one, please kind of take it easy”, said the spokesperson of IOC to Reuters.

Payment System Broke Down

Besides the network problems, the committee also received massive amount of complaints from 80,000 spectators at Wembley Stadium who could not make purchases yesterday. The Visa card payment system broke down, causing massive queues everywhere around Wembley stadium. Visitors were unable to withdraw cash because Visa had stripped all Link cash machines in the stadium to comply with its contract with the Olympics which bans rival payment systems such as MasterCard and American Express.


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