When the fastest woman in the history of Olympics was banned from Instagram days after winning gold in 100m and 200m at Tokyo 2020, it sparked an enormous uproar among sports fans and the sprinter’s admirers.
On Wednesday, Elaine Thompson-Herah, who broke the Olympics record for women’s 100m race, announced that her Instagram account had been blocked because she had posted short clips from both her gold-medal winning races. She was blocked by Facebook-owned Instagram for copyright infringement.
Thompson-Herah took to Twitter to share the news with the world. She posted, “I was blocked on Instagram for posting the races of the Olympic (sic) because I did not own the right to do so. So see y’all in 2 days.”
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
Thompson has more than 300,000 followers on Instagram. Some fans and sports commentators used words like ‘disgusting’ and ‘insulting’, referring to the ban.
Confronted by social media outrage, Facebook clarified that Thompson-Herah’s account was wrongly suspended and that it had been reinstated. It did add that the content put up by the Olympian was correctly removed.
As per the International Olympics Committee (IOC), athletes can post content that Rights Holding Broadcasters (RHBs) with exclusive rights to broadcast the Tokyo Olympic 2020 share on their social media accounts. However, athletes cannot share content from any of the competitions “natively.”
Thompson-Herah also confirmed the unblocking of her account on an Instagram Story. She later posted a pic of the 200m semi-finals captioning it, “Elaine Thompson 200m semifinals# I don not own rights to this video.”
The Jamaican speed queen completed a remarkable double-double at Tokyo 2020 having also picked up the gold medals for 100m and 200m at Rio Olympics in 2016. With the feat, Thompson-Herah has emulated her countryman Usain Bolt. Bolt achieved the sprinting double-double in 2008 and 2012, only to go on and better it with a triple-double, winning gold in 100m and 200m in 2016 as well.