DC Trawler

Why is Twitter suspending people for criticizing NBC’s coverage of the Olympics?

Yesterday in Twitterland, this happened:

Guy Adams is the LA bureau chief for The Independent, and here’s some of the stuff he was saying, courtesy of Deadspin:

guyadams Guy Adams
Am I alone in wondering why NBColympics think its acceptable to pretend this road race is being broadcast live?
3 days ago

guyadams Guy Adams
According to NBC’s commentary team, the Surrey countryside is full of “chateaus” #ffs!

guyadams Guy Adams
Matt Lauer: “Madagascar, a location indelibly associated with a couple of recent animated movies.” #tosspot

guyadams Guy Adams
Matt Lauer would do well to shut up, wouldn’t he?
3 days ago

guyadams Guy Adams
Techcrunch call @NBColympics total buffoons http://t.co/1DYypK0T Sums up why Gary Zenkel, moronic exec behind the time delay, shd be fired

guyadams Guy Adams
If only someone had invented a technology to help us actually see this. Oh, wait… MT @NBCOlympics: Muhammad Ali is one of the flag bearers

guyadams Guy Adams
“Sneak peak” my arse MT @NBCOlympics: Check out this sneak peek of tonight’s #OpeningCeremony http://t.co/vf7KKMf9
3 days ago

guyadams Guy Adams
Say “up yours” to @nbcolympics and watch that opening ceremony here MT @edfcarrasco: we got what the people want: http://t.co/IB5epHmx
3 days ago

guyadams Guy Adams
America’s left coast forced to watch Olympic ceremony on SIX HOUR time delay. Disgusting money-grabbing by @NBColympics http://t.co/bQxKCCdj
4 days ago

guyadams Guy Adams
I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live. Because NBC are utter, utter bastards.
4 days ago

guyadams Guy Adams
The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com

Apparently it was this last tweet that got Adams in trouble, because he “posted an individual’s private information.” Except, um, it’s a corporate e-mail address. Besides which, if posting somebody’s private information was a banning offense, Spike Lee would’ve been kicked off Twitter months ago when he posted somebody’s home address because he thought George Zimmerman lived there. But hey, all he did was try to send a vengeful mob to somebody’s house. It’s not like he put down NBC.

WTF, Twitter? More on this story from The Daily Telegraph:

In an email to The Daily Telegraph, Christopher McCloskey, NBC Sport’s vice-president of communications, said Twitter had actually contacted the network’s social media department to alert them to Mr Adams’s tweets.

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

Twitter and NBC entered into a partnership to cover to Olympic Games this month, with the technology company featuring highlighted tweets from sports insiders in return for on-air promotions. No money was exchanged in the deal, according to reports…

“If what NBC is saying is true, it undermines everything that Twitter stands for and is an absolute disgrace and will aggravate many millions of its users,” [Adams] told The Daily Telegraph.

So now, by trying to shut down criticism, NBC and Twitter have put a spotlight on it. Good.

Adams responds to NBC compounding their Olympics disaster with this PR disaster:

As a journalist, you know you are doing your job properly when you manage to upset rich, powerful and entitled people who are used to getting their own way. And you know you’ve really got under their skin when they pursue censorship, the avenue of last resort since time immemorial.

Read the whole thing at The Independent. And be sure to tweet it. While you still can.

Update: And now, suddenly he’s not suspended anymore.