Twitter Users Disrupt the BBC's Olympics Cycling Coverage

Todd Wasserman
July 30, 2012
Twitter Users Disrupt the BBC's Olympics Cycling Coverage

Spectators using Twitter jammed the transmissions of data from Sunday's men's cycling race, disrupting the BBC's coverage of the event, according to Olympics organizers.

The BBC claims the Olympic Broadcasting Service for the lack of data, which led commentator Chris Boardman to estimate the racers' timings with his own watch. The International Olympic Committee, however, blamed fans' tweets for blocking the information. Such data is sent via tiny GPS transmitters on the racers' bikes.

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IOC Communications Director Mark Adams told The Guardian: "From my understanding, One network was oversubscribed, and OBS are trying to spread the load to other providers. We don't want to stop people engaging in this by social media but perhaps they might consider only sending urgent updates."

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Twitter wasn't the only culprit, however. Adams also told The Associated Press that updates to Facebook plus texting also interfered with the race data. "We should have foreseen that," Adams said. Organizers seem to have solved the problem for the women's road race later in the day.

Image courtesy of Flickr, alighill

This story originally published on Mashable here.