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Officials discourage texts or tweets by Olympics attendees

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Most event organizers encourage tweeting to help spread the word, but Olympics fans in London over the weekend were instructed not to tweet or text unless it was absolutely necessary.

London's wireless networks were reportedly overloaded by the influx of excited Olympics tweets, causing coverage on numerous fronts to suffer.

Officials even had difficulty communicating with the GPS satellite being used to track events, and commentators (and by extension viewers) were left in the dark during important moments.

Coverage was especially spotty as British cycling sprinter Mark Cavendish went for the gold Sunday, and fans at home and on the streets were tweeting up a storm in response to a general lack of information.

It's not like they need the publicity

Naturally, fans took to Twitter to decry the spotty coverage and bemoan Cavendish's loss, further compounding the issue, and Olympics officials were forced to issue an edict.

"Of course, if you want to send something, we are not going to say 'don't, you can't do it', and we would certainly never prevent people," an International Olympic Committee (IOC) spokesman said.

"It's just, if it's not an urgent, urgent one, please kind of take it easy," he continued. "We don't want people to stop engaging in social media but we are asking to see if people can send by other means."

It's unclear what exactly constitutes an "urgent" tweet, but Olympics officials likely didn't consider the abundance of messages complaining about Cavendish's performance essential.

Olympic Committee is taking action

London Mayor Boris Johnson predicted last year that the city's networks would be under a "massive strain," and claimed that the city was working with mobile providers and others to ensure smooth coverage during the 2012 games.

A massive amount of cable was laid in East London's Olympic Park, for example, but issues still arose over the weekend.

The Olympic Broadcasting Service (established by the IOC in 2001) reportedly had issues due to over-dependance on one network in particular, and officials are looking into spreading out their usage to avoid further hiccups.

"We are taking action on a number of things," the IOC spokesman said, though he admitted that the prohibition on non-critical tweets might not have "an awful lot of effect."

TechRadar reported earlier this month that top UK ISPs including BT, Virgin and Sky have been competing to offer the best Wi-Fi to Olympic-goers as part of what one analyst called "probably the biggest infrastructure undertaking" ever for the games.

Perhaps fans in London can try hopping on all that free Wi-Fi to send their tweets instead of inadvertently clogging up more essential wireless networks.

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.