Facebook Mistakenly Blocks Jamaican Sprinter For Celebrating Tokyo Olympics 2020 Victory

Published 08/05/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Elaine Thompson-Herah of Team Jamaica celebrates after winning the gold medal in the Women’s 200m Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)


Facebook pulled off a blunder by blocking Jamaican 100m gold medalist Elaine Thompson for sharing footage of her own victory at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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In the year 2016, competing at the Summer Olympics, in Rio she bagged two golds in 100 and 200m. Recreating history, she successfully defended her titles in 100 and 200m races during the Tokyo Olympics.

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Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Athletics – Women’s 100m – Medal Ceremony – Olympic Stadium, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Gold medallist, Elaine Thompson-Herah of Jamaica wearing a protective face mask on the podium poses with silver medallist, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica wearing a protective face mask and bronze medallist Shericka Jackson of Jamaica wearing a protective face mask REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Tokyo Olympics 2020 100m champion blocked on social media

Wanting to share her glory with the rest of the world, she posted videos of the races. However, the Jamaican found out her videos allegedly violated certain community guidelines. Expressing her feelings, she posted a tweet about the same.

“I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympics because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days,” she said on Twitter on Tuesday. Despite the embarrassing moment, she remained humble and gave an update to her fans.

Having a following of 310, 000 fans all over the world is definitely not a small number. Posting for such an audience, however, seemed to backfire.

After getting her posting rights back, she once again informed her fans. She posted on an Instagram story on Tuesday night, along with two hugging face emojis, conveying the same. Consequently, other athletes felt sceptical from sharing their moments of joy, publically.

IOC reaction to Jamaican’s mishap

The International Olympic Committee said that the removal of unauthorised content on social media is an automatic process. “Rights Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) have the exclusive rights to broadcast the Olympic Games,” the IOC conveyed to Reuters.

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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.”

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Apparently, the Olympic committee has eased some of the restrictive social media rules in the last few years. As mentioned during Rio 2016, participants have to get prior approval from the IOC to post audio or video content within Olympic venues. Inspite of this, rules still do not allow audio or video of the “field of play” or “back of house” areas.

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Divya Chaturvedi

97 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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