• 08.05.16

How likely are you to get away with it, if you violate the Olympics ban on GIFs?

Social media simmered with outrage this morning over the news that the International Olympic Committee is banning GIFs or online video clips of all the action at the Games in Rio. Per the official rules for news outlets:

Additionally, the use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.

If you post on Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat, it’s likely that they might take down that content since they’re partnering with exclusive broadcaster NBC and/or the IOC. That’s even though those huge platforms are protected by “safe harbor” statutes, “meaning that, in most cases, they aren’t responsible for what users post on their service,” per New York magazine.

Your safest bet is to embed a GIF posted by another person in your post. And even if you do post your own GIF, you’ll only be caught if it starts to go viral. After all, it’s hard to imagine an IOC not known for its competence to be adept at pursuing violators around the world during the big event, amid all the chaos and pollution and potential violence and the Zika virus.