Update (2:59 p.m. EDT): NBC Sports confirmed with Reuters' Matthew Keys that it had complained to Twitter about Adams' sharing Zenkel's email address: "We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives," he tweets from a statement.
Original: It looks like Twitter was just looking for a reason to suspend the account of a journalist who was one of the loudest voices criticizing NBC's Olympics coverage -- and it found one in a rule against posting personal email addresses. The question now is whether Twitter's definition of a personal email address is the same as a journalist's.
Guy Adams, the Los Angeles bureau chief for The Independent, had his account, @guyadams suspended on Monday after a series of tweets complaining about NBC's coverage of this summer's Olympic Games. Adams is not the only one complaining on the #NBCFail hashtag, but he's one of the most emphatic, covering the complaints in his publication as well as making them on Twitter. When Adams' account suddenly went offline on Monday, Financial Times journalist Matthew Garrahan first tweeted that it was because NBC had complained to Twitter, with which it is partnering on Olympics coverage. But according to Twitter, that's not necessarily the case.
The official reason Twitter gave for turning off Adams' account, according to Deadspin's John Koblin, with whom Adams shared his email conversation with the company, is that Adams tweeted the email address of NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel. The offending tweet from Friday: "The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven't started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email: Gary.firstname.lastname@example.org." Twitter's rules and regulations prohibit posting "non-public, personal email addresses," but Adams makes the case in his reply that Zenkel's doesn't count: "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 [in form] to one that all of the tens of thousands of NBC Universal employees share." A Google search for Zenkel's address, with an end-date of Friday, indeed turns up his name and email address. But it's not on his executive profile, and a search for Zenkel's name doesn't turn up the address quite as easily. Still, it's hardly a secret. Since the suspension, a number of journalists have taken to tweeting in Adams' defense, and his story dominates a similar hashtag to the NBC one he was tweeting on: #Twitterfail.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.