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Did Twitter Go Too Far? It Suspended Critic Of NBC’s Olympics Coverage

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
July 31, 2012

After having his Twitter account suspended for allegedly violating the micro-blogging site’s rules by posting the email address of an NBC executive, a journalist for Great Britain’s The Independent is wondering whether it’s Twitter that did the rule-breaking.

Guy Adams had been, until his suspension earlier this week, one of the leading voices contributing thoughts to the #NBCFail trending topic that’s been cataloging the things that many folks don’t like about the way the network is covering the London Olympics. (Among the top complaints: Not showing key events live.)

Today, Adams writes about the suspension, his desire to get back on Twitter and why he thinks it’s not him who broke the rules.

As Adams points out in a message he says he sent to Twitter, “you claim that I posted a ‘private email address.’ I did no such thing. I posted a corporate email address, not a private one.” And, he adds that NBC executive Gary Zenkel’s email address “HAD been posted on the internet prior to being put on Twitter.”

“You will, I am sure, be aware that your own privacy policy, which you have urged me to read, states that ‘If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation of this policy.’ “

Finally, Adams says it appears Twitter contacted NBC “to encourage them to have a hostile journalist removed from the Twitter-sphere.” That, he says, would seem to run “against everything your company is supposed to represent.”

We’ve asked Twitter to comment on what Adams is alleging. We’ll update if we hear back.

As for what Adams had been saying about NBC’s Olympics coverage, his tweets included:

“America’s left coast forced to watch Olympic ceremony on SIX HOUR time delay. Disgusting money-grabbing by @NBColympics.”

Meanwhile, as the Los Angeles Times points out: “Twitter and NBC are partners, and friends tend to watch each others’ backs. So if you have been criticizing NBC and plan to continue doing so, it may be best to make sure you aren’t violating Twitter’s policies — you don’t want to find your account down the next time you try to log on.”

Much more coverage of the Olympics is on our sister blog, The Torch. [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

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