“Matt Lauer would do well to shut up, wouldn’t he?”

This is just one of many critical — and hilarious — tweets fired away from The Independent‘s Los Angeles correspondent Guy Adams‘ Twitter feed about the London Olympic Games. And it was this, among a few other zingers, especially criticizing NBC for its coverage and commentary (“Is car advertising an Olympic sport? There’s been little else on NBC today”) that led up to his suspension from Twitter on July 28.

Well, he’s back, as of about four hours ago, with an equally cheeky tweet: “Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?”

Twitter posted this about the whole debacle over on their site today: “That said, we want to apologize for the part of this story that we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a Tweet that was in violation of the Twitter Rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our Trust and Safety team to report the violation, as has now been reported publicly. Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other.”

The brouhaha reportedly caught fire when Adams tweeted NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel’s e-mail. In response, Adams wrote in The Independent, “Twitter’s guidelines forbid users from publishing what they call ‘private’ information, including ‘private email addresses.’ There is plenty of sense in this. But I did not Tweet a private email address. I Tweeted a corporate address for Mr Zenkel, which is widely listed online, and is identical in form to that of tens of thousands of those at NBC.”

And, as Adams writes in his latest piece, Twitter was the one to initiate the suspension, not NBC, as was previously reported: “There are wider issues at play here. The firm also has yet to properly address growing suspicions that its decision to suspend my account was motivated by a high-profile business relationship it has been pursuing with NBC. The firms are running a cross-promotion throughout the Summer Olympics. Was that why it chose to ignore its own rules?

“Yesterday, the website, which is supposedly dedicated to the democratic flow of conversation, did admit that it had actually contacted its corporate partner urging them to complain so that my account could be shut down in the first place.”

It’s a pretty compelling story about media operating outside the proper media chains, and social media’s role in monitoring content. All told, though, the incident is making both NBC and Twitter look pretty bad, as several outlets, including New York Magazine and the International Business Times, are calling the social media giant out.

Comments

  • Victor

    Money corrupts.

  • Bob

    Who cares

  • I Care and So Should You

    I care and so should you, because Twitter should not take it upon itself to manufacture an outside complaint that enables it to shut down a journalist’s account for what he tweets (since it did not actually violate Twitter’s ToS). If NBC had complained of its own volition, Twitter would be an innocent party. Instead, Twitter itself did something underhanded in the name of corporate partnership and rightfully got the online equivalent of a bitchslap upside the head by the tweeting masses and other journalists. Imagine if Twitter was buddy-buddy with a government regime, instead of a media company, and alerted it to a user’s tweets. As soon as it moves into being a monitor/censor, bye bye birdie. #twitterfail

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