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Olympics’ Brass asks fans to cut back on Tweeting

Olympics Tweeting

With reports out of London that Olympic-oriented tweets from fans are clogging networks and affecting broadcasts of the events, officials for the XXX Summer Olympic Games have requested the impossible (the absurd?) from social media users: Back off the tweeting! Fans have been asked to avoid sending “non-urgent” texts and tweets because an overloaded network was affecting TV coverage.

But that announcement apparently fazed users little. On Tuesday night July 31, on Twitter, U.S. gymnast Gabby “The Flying Squirrel” Douglas launched a blast of 29,000 tweets per minute while helping lead her American team to gold in the women’s team competition, surpassing former New York Giants wide receiver Mario Manningham’s Super Bowl-altering catch of last February, which scored 23,350 tweets per. But even Douglas’s spike was surpassed later that same evening, when Michael Phelps drew a Twittersphere-record 37,000 tweets per minute, including a congratulatory one from President Barack Obama after Phelps nabbed his Olympic-record 19th medal in the men’s 4×200 freestyle relay.

Top Facebook Tweeted People

From Facebook’s “Talkmeter,” which weights changes in the social world from 1 to 10, the Olympics pulled a 7.1 rating, significantly surpassing the year’s previous high—the 6.7 generated by talk of Angelina Jolie and the Academy Awards back in late February. Headlining Olympic chatter among Facebook users was superstar Phelps, his 5.6 million fans on that network making him the most talked-about person on the planet.

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(Sources: Ormsby, Avril, Reuters, “Olympics: Please, do not tweet unless you have to, fans told,” [http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/29/oly-twitter-day-idUSL6E8IT1RA20120729]; NBC-TV XXX Summer Olympic Games primetime broadcast, Ryan Seacrest segment on Social Media data, Aug. 1, 2012)

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