Another week, another ‘careful what you post’ story. This time the latest person who should have bitten their tongue instead of wagging it is athlete Voula Papachristou.
The Greek triple jumper made the mistake of posting a tweet that she thought was a funny joke, only it to be considered racist by others, and as a result, Papachristou has been expelled from the Olympics. The message was in particularly poor taste, making light of the fact that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are not reportedly in her home country:
‘With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!’
The tweet drew a huge negative reaction from other Twitter users, with many calling for Papachristou to be dropped from the Greek team. One such response read:
‘If you are serious, the Greek Olympic Team should put you on the first plane and send you back.’
She immediately tried to back-pedal on the issue, but saying that her comment had been ‘a joke’, before yesterday issuing a lengthy apology. However, this was not enough to appease the masses, and more importantly for her, the Greek Olympic Committee.
In a statement confirming Voula Papachristou’s withdrawal from the London 2012 Olympics, the Greek Olympic Committee said that her statements had been ‘contrary to the values and ideas of the Olympic movement’.
Anyone familiar with this blog will be aware DADapp champions the idea of private sharing – social networks might afford quick and easy mass communication, but with that you often sacrifice privacy. It is often hard to gauge what the reaction may be when you share information publicly, so if you think that you need to share privately, then you need to have an appropriate mechanism to do so.
However, this story is not an example of something that should have been shared privately, it is an example of something that should never have been said in the first place, let alone shared. Hopefully this won’t tarnish the London 2012 games for the rest of the Greek Olympic Team, and we at DADapp would like to wish good luck to all competitors from all nations, and hope that the games in our home country are a success for all involved.