In an age where tweeting can make or break your career, i.e., Greece's triple jumper Voula Papachristou's racist tweet that got her kicked out of the Olympics, the beauty and the downfall of social media is that it is a way for anyone and everyone to get their opinions heard--as snarky, uneducated or ridiculous as they might be.
The 2012 Olympics has surreptiously become a place for every spectator to become a critic covering the games in an instant. There were 9.66 million mentions on Twitter during the opening ceremony and according to CNET that is more tweets than were composed during the entire Beijing Olympics--A sign of the ever increasing importance, and reliance, the world has had on social media, especially, in the past few years.
In a modern mobile era where people's phones double as automatic news machines and with sites such as Twitter and Facebook only a fingertip away, it amplifies any criticisms and rallies in an online format.
Expectantly so, not all tweets have been praise for the Olympics and its coverage. Viewers have set up a popular hashtag on Twitter, #NBCfail, criticizing NBC's event coverage. Some online complaints have included NBC's decision to air the swimming event won by Ryan Lochte on tape delay on prime time and the networks decision not to stream the opening ceremony online.
Here are some tweets from #NBCfail:
Jane Poniewozik a Time magazine TV critic, tweeted, "NBC tape delay coverage is like the airlines: its interest is in giving you the least satisfactory service you will still come back for."
Bell responded quickly via Twitter, ""You do know that all sports events are being streamed live right?"
NBC has defended it's approach and says that it saves big events for prime-time airing and said there have been 39 hours of live events Sunday on NBC and affiliated networks. Prime time is when NBC makes the most of their advertising revenue and it is also when the most people are able to watch TV.
NBC uses their TV ratings as well to justify their approach to what to view when. The opening ceremony on Friday drew in more than 40 million people, which is the most ever for any Olympic event in history. The first night of events on Saturday was watched by 28.7 million people which is also a record breaker.