Twitter Olympic ticket alert account blocked 'to stop touts'

A Twitter account that was set up to alert people when Olympic games tickets became available to buy has been blocked.

The official Olympics ticket agency, Ticketmaster, has blocked a Twitter feed that was set up to alert followers when tickets to the London 2012 Olympics became available to buy, the BBC reports.

The Twitter account @2012ticketalert was created by Adam Naisbitt to alert followers to the release of Olympic event tickets, using a custom program that automatically checked the official website for availability. The service was blocked on Thursday evening following a change in the server.

The move has left many followers of the account understandably angry, including Naisbitt himself. The account was a not-for-profit attempt to help people see the games, given the existing ticketing system's slowness to update and its tendency to advertise tickets that had already sold out.

Talking on his blog, Naisbitt explained: "All of us here feel shocked and let down by this move, especially given the ongoing problems with ticketing, and can't understand why they'd take such an aggressive move to block a service which was non-commercial, which we've not been seeking any recognition for on a Company level (so there's no gain for us), and -- most importantly of all -- was making a significant difference to many people and their ability to get tickets."

Naisbitt estimates that over 250,000 people have been reached with ticket updates, and that since the news of the block arose, support has been, "phenomenal, both in terms of re-tweets and messages of support."

Talking to the BBC, a spokesperson for LOCOG explained that the block was not aimed specifically at Naisbitt's service, but was put in place by Ticketmaster in an effort to restrict sales to touts who would resell at a profit.

While it seems fair that LOCOG wants to limit touts' access to tickets, it's difficult to condone taking down a non-profit service set up to bring more people into the games. In light of the vast numbers of complaints over swathes of empty seats, a better solution should have been reached.

What do you think to this action? Have you used the service to buy tickets? Have you had any luck using the official website? Let me know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.

About the author

Andrew is a senior editor at CNET and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.


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