Why the Olympics Are Relying on Social Media

social media like icon with different nationality

Were Olympic coverage left to the media, there would be a strong focus on the problems with Rio as a hosting country. And that’s where social media comes in.

We talk a lot on this blog about the importance and prevalence of social media.  Truly, we believe that social media is a revolutionary way to look at current events.  There’s more to it than keeping up with your mother’s old high school photos, or following Rihanna on Twitter.  As time progresses, we are seeing a heavier focus on how social media is impacting the world.  Politically, it’s already shown its prowess.  And social media is about to decide the fate and success of Rio’s Olympic era.

The State of Rio


There’s a lot of controversy surrounding Rio, and what challenges it presents for the games.  Some of these include environmental concerns, Zika, and political unrest.  Of course, we’ve seen bias towards countries hosting the Olympics who are not considered western.  But there’s no doubt that there is also very real danger involved.  Were this left to the media, there would be a strong focus on the problems with Rio as a hosting country.  And that’s where social media comes in.


What Social Media Gets Right


Simply put, social media is not constrained by time or ratings like news stations.  There’s far more coverage.  There’s a new hashtag rising on Twitter, #NBCFail, which is chronicling the failures of NBC’s Olympic coverage.  There are complaints of misogyny, racism, and not showing enough of the actual games.  Out of this hashtag, we’re seeing stories of otherwise ignored Olympic contestants.  


There’s also how social media essentially determines how success is rated.  The popularity of media is now judged by how many likes it gets, or whether or not their hashtag is trending.  Rio has been planning since 2012 to rely on social media, because they know it works.  At the end of the day, the Olympics are entertainment for the majority of us.  And media’s purpose is to engage and entertain the audience.  A missing hashtag is a missing talking point.


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