British journalist’s Twitter account suspended after he criticized NBC’s Olympics coverage

Deadspin | The Independent | Felix
The Independent’s Los Angeles bureau chief, Guy Adams, lost access to his Twitter account because he revealed the corporate email address of an NBC executive on Twitter after complaining about the network’s Olympic coverage, John Koblin writes.

Adams called Matt Lauer a “tosspot,” savaged NBC for making people on the West Coast wait six hours to watch the opening ceremonies and shared NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel’s work email address. Emails Koblin reproduces from Twitter say Adams got his account yanked because of that last one.

Your account has been suspended for posting an individual’s private information such as private email address, physical address, telephone number, or financial documents. …

It is a violation of the Twitter Rules to post the private and confidential information of others.

Except, it’s not. Felix Salmon points out that Twitter’s rules contain no such prohibition.

Reuters editor Matthew Keys says the suspension originated with a complaint by NBC:

NBC Sports confirms to me they filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted personal information about one of its executives. — Matthew Keys (@ProducerMatthew) July 30, 2012

Facebook communications manager Iain Mackenzie points out on Twitter that Adams also shared the address of a site to watch the opening ceremonies live that has been blacklisted.

@archiebland He also posted a link to this blacklisted site (see pic). Prob auto blocked by malware / spam filters twitter.com/iMacUK/status/…

— Iain Mackenzie (@iMacUK) July 30, 2012

Adams replied to Twitter, saying Zenkel’s email address is “widely available to anyone with access to Google” and follows the same naming protocol as other NBC employees. For what it’s worth, I tried to find Zenkel’s email via Google but couldn’t verify Adams’ contention because of a rash of stories about Adams. Pumping that address into Rapportive brings up Zenkel’s profile, and it does follow the same convention as other NBC employees I’ve emailed.

The optics aren’t good for NBC, which is already taking heat online for its Olympic coverage. Adams wrote a piece for The Independent that just went live; it closely follows Koblin’s account.

Though I’m still banned from Twitter, so unable to personally verify this, colleagues inform me that my suspension has suddenly become a matter of public debate.

Related: Washington Redskins kick non-partner radio station out of press conference (The Washington Post)

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    An NBC spokesman gave The Wall Street Journal this explain today: “Our interest was in protecting our executive, not suspending the user from Twitter. We didn’t initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it.”UPDATED

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    Twitter is nothing but an online bully pulpit for gangs of bullies and people who like to abuse others online without fear of getting “caught” (scare quotes mine) or called on the carpet. Facebook has stronger policies. Twitter has nada. That is why so many jerks use Twitter now to abuse others. Guy Adams just found out the hard way. Watch. this story has legs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    the Twitter rules no email address allowed to be given out in abusive bullying way, period. re ”Adams pointed out that the email was not a private one but a corporate account.”Adams is a crybaby.Read more: http://news.techeye.net/internet/twitter-loses-news-source-credibility#ixzz22Fxpk54v

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    friend on twitter tells me just now re Jeff Jarvis rant on same: ”oh god, the guy posted a private email on twitter and journalists get the vapors. sheesh. then we have some journalists saying, “i can google his name and find his email.” IT’S NOT IN TWITTERS EULA THAT TWITTER HAS TO GOOGLE THE GUYS NAME FIRST. the guy lives in the UK, gets the olympics live, and he’s bitching about NBC? huh? hey guy adams, NBC paid almost $2 billion and your ego thought that you could change their programming? Really dude, you thought that? NBC has been working on this Olympics SINCE THIS WAS ANNOUNCED and you thought by posting a private email on twitter was going to change that? Again…really? Calm the F down and take your lumps in public and in the future, DO NOT POST PRIVATE WORK EMAILS when it clearly says in twitters EULA, not do do that. Oy vey. This whole thing has gotten journalists in such “uproar” it’s comical.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=749911534 Anonymous

    No no no no. Guy Adams was in the wrong, Face it, and stop the conspiracy theories. I have noticed that recently TWITTER has become a bullying pulpit and an abuse platform unlike FACEBOOOK, where there are strict policies. Twittter has become the place to be a bully and abuse other and get away with it, just like online anonymous comments where people gang up on others. Guy Adams erred. admit it Guy. i hope this is a big wake up call for Twitter and all tritter users. STOP abusing tweets. Guy has inadvertently become a “hot tweet potato” yes , and scare quotes mine, but it’s his fault …Guy Adams he DID publish the eamil address of NBC and that is a NO-NO according to Twitter rules. yes or no?Read more: http://news.techeye.net/internet/twitter-loses-news-source-credibility#ixzz22FxOtlUy

  • http://twitter.com/jsalsman James Salsman

    There are at least eight mentions of Zenkel’s email address visible in Google search when the date is restricted to before the 26th. It is neither non-public nor personal. Use “Advanced search tools.”

  • http://twitter.com/jsalsman James Salsman

    There are at least eight mentions of Zenkel’s email address visible in Google search when the date is restricted to before the 26th. It is neither non-public nor personal. Use “Advanced search tools.”

  • http://www.thisistrue.com Randy Cassingham

    “It is a violation of the Twitter Rules to post the private and confidential information of others.”
    “Except, it’s not. Felix Salmon points out that Twitter’s rules contain no such prohibition.”

    Maybe Felix Salmon didn’t find the rule, but I did:
    https://support.twitter.com/groups/33-report-abuse-or-policy-violations/topics/148-policy-information/articles/20169991-private-information-posted-on-twitter

    Though I suppose it could be argued that a “public figure” e-mail address is not really “private information”.