Violation of Policy Resulted in Account Suspension of Reporter Who Tweeted Criticisms About NBC Olympics Coverage-Truth!

Violation of Policy Resulted in Account Suspension of Reporter Who Tweeted Criticisms About NBC Olympics Coverage-Truth!  

Summary of eRumor:

There are various messages being sent via the social media network, Twitter, about a reporter named Guy Adams who had his account suspended for criticizing NBC’s coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London, England.   Adams included the email address of NBC’s Olympics President Gary Zenkel for his Twitter followers to contact.

The Truth:
According to a July 30,2012 article in the Wall Street Journal, the Independent’s Los Angeles bureau chief, Guy Adams, said that “his Twitter account was suspended after allegedly breaking Twitter’s privacy rules by publishing the email of the NBC Olympics chief and encouraging people to email their complaints.”   The article also said that Twitter for the London Games and NBC are official partners, “although there is currently no indication that this relationship has played a part in Twitter’s decision.”
Adams tweeted, “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel, Tell him what u think!” and included his email address at NBC.
In his July 31, 2012 Independent article, Adams wrote, “The site claims I broke its rules because I included Zenkel’s work email address in a Tweet posted on Friday, when America had been forced to watch the opening ceremony on time-delay.”
Adams also said that he contacted the Twitter “trust and safety” department to get his account status restored and their response was, “If you would like to request your account to be restored, please respond to this email and confirm that you’ve read and understood our rules.”
Adams’ response to the social media giant was included in his article:


And sorry for the radio silence. For obvious reasons, my day has been a wee bit busier than normal.

I would love my Twitter account to be un-suspended.

However you have asked me to “confirm that I have read and understood” your rules.

I’ve read, and I have re-read your rules. Clearly I don’t understand them, though, because I have no idea how I broke them.

You claim that I posted a “private email address.”

I did no such thing. I posted a corporate email address, not a private one.

It was, like the work address of every other NBC Universal account holder, written in a very un-private format: [email protected].

Moreover, it was already easily identifiable to anyone in possession of 30 seconds of free time and access to Google. For example, it had been published online over a year ago, at the link below

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?

Moreover, I just received a copy of a written statement from an NBC spokesman called Christopher McCloskey. It was issued via email this evening to Amy Willis, a correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, in answer to her query regarding how NBC’s complaint came to be lodged with Twitter, and how NBC originally became aware of my original Tweet.

Mr McCloskey states (and I quote): “Our social media dept was actually alerted to it by Twitter and then we filled out the form and submitted it.”

Unless he is lying, this means that my account was suspended after Twitter decided, at its own behest, to get in touch with a commercial partner in order to encourage them to have a hostile journalist removed from the Twitter-sphere.

Surely this runs against everything your company is supposed to represent? And surely it completely undermines Twitter’s entire raison d’etre, corporate ethos, etc?

Mr McCloskey’s email to Ms Willia also, helpfully, includes contact details for a Twitter spokesman, Rachael Horwitz. Am I to take it that this means NBC and Twitter’s media departments are in some sort cahoots regarding this whole thing? And if so, does this whole thing not have a whiff of fish?

I don’t know exactly where I’m meant to go from here, except to say that I really would like a proper explanation of how and why my Twitter account has been suspended.

And I’d also quite like to have it un-suspended. Please?


The Twitter account of Guy Adams was eventually unsuspended on the morning of July 31, 2012.

updated 07/31/12