Double Tokyo 2020 sprint champ Elaine Thompson-Herah says she was blocked by Instagram for posting footage of her race, sparking a debate over the ethics of social media sites and policies for unacceptable content.
Jamaican Thompson-Herah became the first woman to ever defend the 100m and 200m Olympic titles by first becoming the world’s fastest women for a second time in the 100m on Saturday.
The 29-year-old followed that up with 200m glory on Tuesday to make a double-defence of her titles won at Rio 2016 and bring her individual gold medal haul to four and continue Jamaica’s proud sprinting heritage.
As with every twenty-something, Thompson-Herah was keen to share her success on Instagram, and posted dozens fo stories that included television replays of her race as well as reposted videos from well-wishers to her 311,000 followers.
However, the social media site didn’t take kindly to an apparent breach of copyright, despite Thompson-Herah technically posting a video of herself, the very thing for which the application’s stories feature was created, and the ‘Sprint Queen’ reported she’d been swiftly blocked.
I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days
— Elaine Thompson Herah (@FastElaine) August 3, 2021
“I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days,” Thompson-Herah posted on Twitter of her @fastelaine Insta account.
Banning the ‘Sprint Queen’ opened a can of ethical worms as to what big social media sites deem unacceptable content, in the wake of racist abuse posted don social media and apparent inactivity of
“Instagram can be more assertive stopping an athlete posting footage of their successes than removing racist abuse,” Olympic reporter Rob Harris wrote.
Others expressed disbelief that Instagram could ban an athlete for posting her own successes on the social site, pointing out that figuratively she very much owned the race.
Even Olympic champions get blocked for posting themselves running… Capitalism ?
— Phaṱhutshedzo (@ndi_Phathu) August 3, 2021
Athletes, Artists, Creatives, have rights to their own image & likeness
— Anita Baker (@IAMANITABAKER) August 3, 2021
You OWNED that race though!
— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) August 3, 2021
Lol. Is it not obvious that something about that just isn’t right?
— Anson Henry (@ansonhenry) August 3, 2021
Blocked for something you made amazing? Watch yah
— shoy876?? (@tlmitc86) August 3, 2021
Thompson-Herah’s time of 21.53 completed an incredible quadruple for the Manchester Parish-born sprinter, only late US runner Florence Griffith Joyner has ever run the distance faster, although her times have been shrouded in controversy due to allegations of doping.
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