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…

— 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)

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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