NBC critic's Twitter account reinstated after suspension
Journalist Guy Adams, who writes for a London paper, criticized Olympics coverage
One tweet shared an NBC executive's company e-mail
NEW: Twitter apologized, said an employee erred in alerting NBC
Guy Adams, the Los Angeles-based journalist whose Twitter account was suspended after blasting NBC over its Olympics coverage, is tweeting again after being reinstated on the site.
Adams, who writes for London’s Independent newspaper, posted at about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday.
“Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended. Did I miss much while I was away?” he wrote.
Adams said he was tossed from the site Sunday after a series of posts, beginning Friday, that were critical of NBC’s decision to delay airing the Games’ opening ceremony and other events. In one, he included the company e-mail of NBC executive Gary Zenkel, urging followers to send him messages complaining about the network’s decision not to air many events live, including the opening ceremonies.
NBC confirmed that it complained and Twitter suspended him, saying it is a violation of the site’s terms of service to post personal information. But shortly after sending the above tweet Tuesday, he told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin he got an e-mail saying that NBC had withdrawn its complaint.
“I feel delighted and relieved,” said Adams, whose Twitter posts had included calling NBC “utter, utter bastards” and accusing them of “disgusting money grabbing” for delaying broadcasts for hours so they can be aired in prime time in the United States.
“I’m a working journalist. I need Twitter to do my job properly. I’m just very pleased to be able to get back on with things.”
On Twitter’s blog, the site’s lead attorney, Alex Macgillivray, wrote that a member of Twitter’s team that’s working with NBC on the Olympics “did proactively identify” Adams’ offending tweet and encouraged NBC to file a complaint.
He apologized, saying that the detail was “the part of this story that we did mess up.”
“Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other,” he wrote.
Twitter and NBC Universal have a partnership during the Olympics through which the social media service is collecting tweets from athletes and fans and displaying them all on one page.
NBC Sports says it never intended to get Adams banned.
“Our interest was in protecting our executive, not suspending the user from Twitter,” an NBC Sports spokesperson said in a written statement to CNN. “We didn’t initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it.”
Adams told CNN that he thinks the “commercial relationship” between Twitter and NBC contributed to his suspension.
In the blog post, Macgillivray said that the site can’t determine whether corporate email accounts are intended to be public or private and that his team acted appropriately in responding to the complaint.
He wrote that in the case of suspensions like Adams’, Twitter un-suspends accounts after the user acknowledges they understand the site’s terms of service and promises to follow them in the future.
Adams, however, noted an exemption in the rules if info is already available online, saying that was the case with Zenkel’s e-mail.
“It’s very easy. I took his name. I used a website even NBC should be aware of,” he said. “A website called Google.”
“I don’t think I had broken their rules,” Adams continued. “I don’t think any reasonable person reading their rules thinks I breached their rules. I didn’t share the address of their house. I didn’t share their phone number … . E-mail is very different than a phone call or sharing someone’s physical address.”