Twitter Suspends Journalist After NBC Complains

If you’re attempting to watch the Olympics from the U.S., no one needs to tell you how miserable the coverage is. And if you’re on Twitter, you’ve likely tweeted the #NBCFail hashtag in frustration more than once.

But what if doing so resulted in your account getting suspended? If you retweeted one specific tweet from journalist @guyadams that may just happen!

Guy Adams is a journalist at The Independent and his account was suspended on Sunday after he tweeted the email address of the President of NBC Sports.

Twitter’s terms of service clearly state that you are not allowed to tweet someone’s personal email address . . . but does the work email address of the President of NBC Sports qualify as a personal email address? Many say it does not.

They also say that using the email address to suspend Adams is just a convenient excuse and Twitter did this only because NBC is a business partner.

So did tweeting the email address get him in trouble, or was it the rest of his tweets about NBC… and the subsequent momentum he provided to the popular #NBCFail hashtag? Here are some tweets found on Boston Review:

Adams didn’t event start the #NBCFail hashtag though. The smart folks at Kred tracked it back to this guy, Steven Marx (you should follow him, how witty is he?):

But back to Adams. The Olympics sponsor admits to filing a complaint with Twitter:

“We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives,” NBC Sports said in a statement Monday. “According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy. Twitter alone levies discipline.”

Rachael Horwitz, a spokeswoman for the social media site, said the company never comments on individual users for privacy reasons. But she said Twitter considers work emails private unless they’re publicly shared.

So is this a lesson for all of us re following the rules or an unwanted reminder that the rules are fairly flexible for those in power?

UPDATE: Adams’ Twitter profile has now been unsuspended. No word from Twitter yet – we’ll update if and when they make any kind of statement. Just don’t hold your breath.

(Freedom of speech image from Shutterstock)