With the rise of social media and increasingly powerful smartphone cameras coming out every year, journalists and fans attending the last few Olympic tournaments have been able to share photos and video of events in real time, but multiple reports have surfaced claiming Russia will ban the press from using phones, tablets and point-and-shoot cameras throughout the Sochi Winter Olympics.
BuzzFeed points to multiple reports from local outlets citing Russian official Vasily Konov, who controls press accreditation for the games, saying any sort of multimedia digital reporting will be strictly banned. The government official—who also heads the state-run R-Sport news company—allegedly said the use of mobile devices will be “considered a serious violation and lead to their accreditation being canceled,” though apparently Russian journalists with special badges will be exempt from this rule.
Konov later denied ever making the statement, calling it a “monstrous lie,” though it was reported by multiple media outlets and falls in line with earlier decisions by the government to ban several different press organizations ahead of the Olympics.
If you’re planning on attending with Sochi Olympics as a fan there’s no need to worry. Russia says it can’t stop spectators from using their smartphones to share photos and videos of the events, so there should still be plenty of photos and videos from the games available online once the Olympics kick off in February.