IOC Updates Social Media Policy After Citing “That’s So Gay” As Appropriate Language

1014474_10151744520444216_1498564686_nThe International Olympic Committee’s official Facebook page for The Olympic Games is seeing some of the best traffic right now, and not for very good reasons.

After basically lying about anti-gay Russian legislation not applying to tourists and athletes during the 2014 Games in Sochi, many took to the IOC’s Facebook page to express their outrage.

That’s when “equal rights campaigner” Julie Price noticed some strange language in the IOC’s social media moderation policy. Naturally, she alerted The Federation of Gay Games and GLAAD.

Here’s what the “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual” section of the policy stated:

It is acceptable for a user to refer to his/her sexuality as gay, however we need to be careful with potentially defamatory posts accusing someone else of being gay — these will be removed.
It is acceptable for users to use the word “gay” in a light-hearted “street talk” manner, e.g. “that’s so gay” — but if used to be discriminatory it will be removed.

Yes, that’s right. You can say “that’s so gay,” as long as it’s in a “light-hearted street talk manner.” Something like “lol, that’s the worst social media policy ever. How gay.”

Late yesterday evening, and without an announcement, the IOC updated their social media policy, presumably after a group of executives were like “Can you believe people read our social media policy? That’s so gay.”

The new policy reads in part:

It is acceptable for a user to refer to his/her sexuality as gay, however we need to be careful with potentially defamatory posts accusing someone else of being gay — these will be removed. It is of course acceptable for users to use the word “gay” in a general way — but if used to be discriminatory it will be removed.”

“The IOC has a responsibility to ensure its athletes and their fans are safe whether in the stands in Russia or following on Facebook from home,” said GLAAD spokesperson Wilson Cruz. “This policy was outdated and wouldn’t be acceptable in a high school, much less on a page where millions of users interact.”

Talk of boycotting the 2014 Olympics is still hot. GLAAD announced this week that representatives will be “meeting with advocates from Russia to discuss ways to elevate their voices in the media.”

Meanwhile, we wonder what Johnny Weir will look like in handcuffs next year?

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #boycott #glaad(gayandlesbianallianceagainstdefamation) #guidelines stories and more


  • KiraNerysRules

    If the Olympics aren’t boycotted, we need to boycott companies that advertise during Olympic coverage. Nike can’t have a damn Be True campaign and throw their money at these games.

  • bigomega73

    @KiraNerysRules: while initially that may seem like a good idea I think you’re way over-inflating the gay community’s power over corporations. Do you really think Nike’s income from the gay community in any way even compares to the income they generate from advertising during the Olympic Games? We’d be shooting ourselves in the foot AND make the gay community look like a bunch of bullies who throw a tantrum with our friends when they don’t put us first. Nike is a publicly traded corporation. It has a duty to its stockholders to make money, not lose money to fight for human rights

  • 2eo

    @bigomega73: What an utterly moronic attitude, and given your username you post an awful lot like a certain recently banned member. Act like an adult mate, it’ll help in the long run.

    Kira was spot on.

  • TomMc

    @KiraNerysRules: Yup! Here’s what needs to happen:

    1 – We North American/West European folks need to find the television networks who’ve made exclusive deals to air the Sochi 2014 Olympics;

    2 – Then we should write them and explain that capitalizing on homophobia is hella wrong;

    3 – Further, we won’t wait until the Olympics next year to boycott the media outlets officially authorized to televise/broadcast the games (that is, we’ll campaign against them ASAP); and,

    4 – We will make note of the advertisers who’ve paid for commercials *on any broadcasting organization* starting today, and lobby said advertisers to stop financially investing in any such broadcasting company; and finally,

    5 – If that does not work, and the advertisers decide to still pay for commercial spots with any of the networks that have been exclusively authorized to broadcast the 2014 Sochi games – then we’ll not watch/listen-to/read any of their coverage (except to make note of any advertisers who might still have financial agreements with those broadcasting organizations; in order to boycott those advertisers/companies after Sochi 2014.)

    Money talks.

  • Kieru

    This is an issue I’m torn on. Emotionally, I feel like the games taking place in Sochi represent a terrible disservice to the LGBT community and tarnishes the Olympics. On the other hand… logically I understand that there is not time to move the games to another suitable location.

    Further, I understand that companies like NBC signed contracts long before Russia’s anti-gay legislation was passed. I’m not going to fault them for signing a contract before Russia went to that extreme. I also understand that they might not have the option of backing down. Their commercial sponsors may be in a similar boat. The Olympics involve a lot of cash – contracts revolving around the Olympics are going to be pretty iron-clad.

    It’s like the LGBT community boycotting Stoli. Emotionally it makes sense, logically it’s just silly. The one plant in Russia is owned by the government, and sells that vodka exclusively within Russia. The Stoli we buy is produced outside of Russia. And Stoli has a pretty decent history of supporting LGBT events – just a few months ago we were all excited over the Most Original Stoli Guy contest. Now we’re all mad at a company owned by Russian ex-patriots who produce Vodka in plants outside of Russia…. because Russia has an anti-gay law that we vehemently disagree with.

  • bigomega73

    @2eo: I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt in that the reason for your insulting overreaction to my comment is because you had some negative history with whomever this “recently banned member” is. If that’s not the reason then I suggest you take your own advice and “act like an adult male”. Only children attack and attempt to denigrate those that they disagree with as you did. Adults can have a civil conversation without resorting to personal insults

Comments are closed.