NBC exec says Twitter alerted it to journalist’s critical Olympics tweets

The Telegraph | The Independent | The New York Times | AP
In an email to the U.K.’s Telegraph, NBC vice president for communications Chris McCloskey said Twitter flagged Guy Adams’ critical tweets about the network’s Olympics coverage to NBC’s social media department, writes Amy Willis.

“Our social media dept was actually alerted to it by Twitter and then we filled out the form and submitted it,” he wrote.

On Monday, NBC confirmed it had filed a complaint against Adams, whose account was suspended after he tweeted the work email address of NBC’s president of Olympics coverage, Gary Zenkel. In an email to Poynter, McCloskey (whose email address is available publicly) said the network had “nothing further to add.” He included NBC’s original statement:

“We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives. According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy. Twitter alone levies discipline.”

Twitter declined comment to The Telegraph and The Guardian, whose Josh Halliday noted the microblogging service has a partnership with NBC during the games.

In The Independent, Adams writes he’d be “fascinated to hear how Twitter [can] explain or justify this” and says he got an email from the company instructing him how to apply to have his suspension lifted. The form, he says, requires him to “confirm that you’ve read and understood our rules.” He shares an email he wrote in reply:

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.”

Mr Zenkel’s email address HAD been posted on the internet prior to being put on Twitter, Therefore can you explain how my Tweet violated your policy? Or are you making this up as you go along?

NBC has also angered fans by spoiling results before they air on time delay. Monday night, the network ran a promo spot for a “Today” show segment about swimmer Missy Franklin’s first gold medal — just before it showed the tape-delayed race in which Franklin won it. Jeremy Peters describes what he says was a mistake on the network’s part:

It was a touching, made-for-television moment. There was the newest American gold medalist, the 17-year-old Missy Franklin, reflecting on her triumph with her parents.

“When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with,” the commercial began.

There was only one problem. Her gold-winning race hadn’t been broadcast yet.

Still, NBC’s ratings continue to climb for the games, the AP’s David Bauder reports.

The Nielsen company said 36 million people watched Sunday night’s coverage, the biggest audience for the second night of a non-U.S. summer Olympics competition since TV began covering them in 1960. Counting the opening ceremonies on Friday, an average of 35.8 million people have tuned in for the three nights, well above the 30.6 million who watched the first three nights in Beijing in 2008 and considerably more than the 24 million who saw the first three nights of the Athens games of 2004.

This is the opposite of most TV programs, where declining ratings are the rule rather than the exception. But it reflects how broadcast television has become a destination for big events and how social media is driving viewership.

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

Related: Some Olympics fans get around NBC’s coverage with Internet workarounds that let them watch BBC coverage (Reuters) |

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  • Anonymous

    “NBC’s ratings continue to climb for the games” think about that statement. where else could a US viewer watch it? jesus

  • Anonymous

    I’d suspect that “NBC’s social media department” had to hire a few more displaced reporters to cover likes of Matt & Drone Meredith and that lame British production which focused more on the boars, Beefeaters and outdated Monarchy, than it dod on the Olympic games!

    And now it appears that the social media can well be used as a tool of the “Thought Police” when someone like NBC is willing to foot the bill. But in the interest of full disclosure, when Brian Williams reported a story about GE’s jet engine problems on a new Boeing offering – he was quick to point out that GE has “minority ownership” in NBC, so as to distance NBC a bit further from it’s parent, for whatever reason… 

  • Anonymous

    Instead of whining about Twitter, NBC should focus on meeting the demands of their viewers, but no. Instead,we get oversensitive TV execs who act like petulant children whenever they get justifiably criticized for their antiquated approach to sports broadcasting.

    It’s actually pretty sad we’re even having this discussion.

  • http://flickr.com/kevbo Kevbo

    I can’t find the button at Twitter to have them monitor when people post publicly available information about me so I can have them terminate that person’s account.

    The partnership between NBC and Twitter might explain why the #nbcfail hastag was quickly taken out of the trending list after it initially appeared.