openDemocracyUK

Olympic organisers shut down ‘Space Hijackers’ protest twitter account

Index on Censorship has learned that the Twitter account of protest group Space Hijackers has been suspended following a complaint by the organisers of the London Olympics.

by Padraig
24 May 2012

This piece is part of our debate 'The Great British Summer?'.

Index on Censorship has learned that the Twitter account of protest group Space Hijackers has been suspended following a complaint by the organisers of the London Olympics.

The anti-capitalists, who have styled themselves as the Official Protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games, received notification from Twitter in an email, which stated:

Hello,

We have received reports from the trademark holder, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd, that your account, @spacehijackers, is using a trademark in a way that could be confusing or misleading with regard to a brand affiliation. Your account has been temporarily suspended due to violation of our trademark policy.

(The full email is here.)

The Space Hijackers had been using an altered version of the 2012 logo on their site and their Twitter page

The Olympic organisers are notoriously prickly about branding, but also about protest, and laws introduced after London won the right to host this year’s games could potentially place restrictions on protest for the duration of the Olympics and Paralympics.

It could be argued that the logo in itself was a justifiable reason for the suspension, but you have to seriously ask: is anyone actually going to confuse the Space Hijackers account for an official Olympic account? This should surely be the basis of a claim for trademark infringement.

It is doubtful that Space Hijackers are actually going to bring down the International Olympic Committee and capitalism along with it (not through Twitter at least). One can only conclude that this is an act of petty, vindictive censorship, hardly in the spirit of plurality and inclusiveness the Olympics is supposed to promote.

 


This piece was first published by Index on Censorship who are running a free event, "Is Sport Above Human Rights?" on Tuesday 19 June. Details here.

 

 

Will COVID break up the UK?

Support for Scottish independence is at record levels. Support for a united Ireland is at record levels. Support for Welsh independence is at record levels.

The British state's management of the COVID crisis has widely been seen as disastrous. Will the pandemic accelerate the break-up of the United Kingdom?

Join us on Thursday 6 August at 5pm UK time/6pm CET for a live discussion.

Hear from:

Anthony Barnett Founder of openDemocracy, he has often written about the need for a progressive England to emerge from the shadow of Britain.

Allison Morris Security correspondent and columnist with the Irish News, and an analyst of politics in Northern Ireland.

Harriet Protheroe-Soltani Trade union organiser for Wales and the south-west, vice chair of the campaign group Momentum, and has written about rising support for Welsh independence on the Left.

Chair: Adam Ramsay Editor at openDemocracy and frequent writer about Scottish independence, most recently in The Guardian.

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

Comments

We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData