"Given the prominent role that the state plays in Russia, it is entirely feasible that we will see a much more interventionist and regulatory stance being taken by the government," says Chadwick.
VK, which refused to take down anti-government content posted on its website by opposition parties after the 2011 elections, is now 48% owned by Ilya Shcherbovich -- who sits on the board of state-owned oil company Transneft.
However, Peshin does not believe that the Kremlin can truly control social media in Russia.
"The government is mighty, but the network is an elusive thing," he says. "You can destroy it, of course, but to take over the control -- I'm not sure."
And while the authorities will be able to tightly restrict activities within the Olympics site -- there will be an exclusion zone around the resort for non-accredited traffic from January to March -- there is still latitude for "virtual" protests, says Miah.
"Social media is the only vehicle through which protest is noticed, and campaigns are getting more and more sophisticated and organized," he says.
"Physical space isn't what it used to be. If someone wants to occupy the geographical position of the main stadium, they can, using digital technology.
"While someone may own the physical space, nobody owns the GPS location and we could see people 'occupying' venues out of protest. This kind of story can really grab the attention of the world's media."