#NBCFail: Backlash as Twitter locks out reporter Guy Adams

The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent Guy Adams has account frozen after criticising US TV network

The US television broadcaster NBC was at the centre of controversy last night after it persuaded Twitter to suspend an Independent journalist who criticised its coverage of the Olympics.

Guy Adams, this newspaper's Los Angeles correspondent, was removed from the social networking site on the day that he wrote a news story detailing widespread public complaints about the network's coverage of the London Games.

According to Twitter, he was suspended for a message posted during the Opening Ceremony, when NBC prevented viewers of America from watching live coverage, so that the network could screen the occasion during an evening prime-time slot coveted by advertisers. "The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven't started yet is Gary Zenkel," wrote Mr Adams. "Tell him what * think!" His tweet then contained the work email address of Mr Zenkel, the President of NBC Olympics.

Twitter claimed last night that the tweet breached its guidelines.

"Your account has been suspended for posting an individual's private information such as private email address, physical address, telephone number, or financial documents," the company informed Mr Adams. "It is a violation of the Twitter Rules."

In response, Mr Adams wrote: "I didn't publish a private email address, just a corporate one, which is widely available to anyone with access to Google and is identical to one that all of the tens of thousands of NBC Universal employees share. It's no more 'private' than the address I'm emailing you from right now.

"Either way, [it's] quite worrying that NBC, whose parent company is an Olympic sponsor, is apparently trying (and, in this case, succeeding) in shutting down the Twitter accounts of journalists who are critical of their Olympic coverage."

News of the suspension sparked tens of thousands of angry messages on Twitter, including comments supportive of Mr Adams from BBC journalist Jeremy Vine, and Piers Morgan, the former editor of the Daily Mirror who now works for CNN. The novelist Irvine Welsh posted the the following comment online: "The Guy Adams twitter ban illustrates three tendencies of hegemonic power; 1) hates criticism, 2) takes itself seriously 3) no sense of fun," tweeted.

In a statement, NBC said: "We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives."

What exactly did Guy Adams have to say? Plenty. Here's a look at some of his tweets, all of which are now hidden, but have been preserved on Topsy:

@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

Guy Adams: I thought the internet age had ended this kind of censorship

 

 

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