Author: April Sorce

I am a senior student at Slippery Rock University studying Business Marketing with a minor in Management. My ultimate career goal is to work in social media marketing.

#SochiProblems Reveals Real Problems in Sochi, Russia

Journalists, Olympians, and tourists took to #SochiProblems on Twitter to reveal the poor conditions they’ve experienced in Sochi, Russia for the Olympic Games the past two weeks.

Although the hashtag and account (@SochiProblems) are meant to be humorous, did the tweets reveal actual concern for the problems in Russia? Should journalists have taken the time to report on such poor conditions in post-Soviet Russia? Maybe all of this is just a cultural misunderstanding. Maybe living conditions were the last thing on the government’s minds, granted Russia was facing other major problems like terrorist threats and anti-gay attacks.

Here are some examples of such tweets from journalists who stayed in Sochi:

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If accommodations made for journalists and olympians were so poor, what are the living conditions for the rest of the population? Russia seemed to unintentionally portray themselves as a third-world country, possibly an indication of a much greater issue.

The Twitter handle @SochiProblems currently has 325K followers. Throughout the Olympic Games, the account has tweeted and retweeted comical tweets about the unfortunate conditions. More users seem to focus on making fun of the conditions rather than show concern, which has been insulting to many Russians.

Numerous articles have stated that #SochiProblems is more of an embarrassment for America than it is for Russia because of ignorance. (Here’s one article: http://www.policymic.com/articles/81663/sochiproblems-is-more-of-an-embarrassment-for-america-than-it-is-for-russia).

Whether the hashtag leads to funny tweets or not, in the end it reveals possible living condition problems in Sochi, Russia. Should such conditions be ignored by the rest of world or is our duty to report about it?

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