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Twitter suspends outspoken critic of NBC’s Olympic coverage

Many users wonder if The Independent’s Guy Adams was suspended from Twitter for tweeting the email address of NBC President Gary Zenkel or for his general criticism of the network. 


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Jul 30, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 1:42 pm CDT

NBC just can’t catch a break.

The official broadcaster of the Olympics in the U.S. is under fire on Twitter again after users found out that The Independent’s Guy Adams had his Twitter account suspended allegedly over comments he made about NBC’s Olympic coverage.

Adams is based in Los Angeles and has been criticizing NBC on its coverage since the network chose not to air the Opening Ceremonies live this past Friday so they could take advantage of prime time advertising. His latest article covers multiple aspects of #NBCFail, a Twitter hashtag made popular over the weekend and covers everything from the delayed airing of live footage to the unprofessionalism that some of the NBC broadcasters and reporters have displayed.

“At the centre of controversy was NBC’s attempt to leverage maximum revenue from the Games, for which they paid almost a billion dollars, by foregoing live coverage of high-profile events,” Adams wrote. “Instead, it intends to footage on time-delay during evening prime time, when brands will pay a premium to advertise.”

NBC bashing is nothing new this Olympics—-a parody Twitter account even poked fun at the network’s tendency to delay live footage—but Adams’s account was not suspended just for his negative commentary towards NBC.

Frustrated on having to wait seven hours to watch the Opening Ceremonies, Adams urged his followers to write to NBC President Gary Zenkel. And he included Zenkel’s email address.

“The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what you think!” Adams wrote. Inagist has a record of that tweet, which includes Zenkel’s email address.

Adams’s told Deadspin’s John Koblin that he was suspended because the email tweet violated Twitter’s terms of service, which prohibit the posting of “private and confidential information of others.” But as Adams and Felix Salmon noted, Zenkel’s address is corporate, and therefore public.

“Am I to presume, for example, that they decided to complain about me because of my recent article in the Indy’s news page about their various failures?” Adams wrote.

The Independent Deputy Editor Archie Bland confirmed that Adams’s account suspension came after he posted Zenkel’s corporate email address.

Matthew Garrahan of the Financial Times first broke the story on Twitter after a follower asked him about Guy Adams’s Twitter account.

“Ominous: Twitter has shut down @guyadams’ account after #NBC complained about tweets he wrote that criticised its #Olympics coverage,” Garrahan tweeted.

Kevin Rawlinson, a fellow reporter at The Independent, also confirmed the report as well as Bland, who told followers that Adams planned to break his silence over his account suspension.

“.@guyadams will have piece on heavy-handed suspension of acct up soon,” Bland tweeted.

Twitter users are largely outraged over Adams’s suspension.

“this is a sad day at #Twitter. banning #guyadams account because he was criticizing #nbcolympics coverage? this is scary collusion,” Brett Tomich tweeted.

“Another brilliant decision!” Josh Spiegel wrote.

“So @guyadams writes abt the way ALL us feel re NBC’s Olympic coverage & they have him suspended. That’s supposed to help their image prob?!?” Cookiejava wrote.

And some are worried what the suspension of Adams’s account says for Twitter users’ free speech.

“Censorship by #Twitter is blatant pocket lining. @guyadams dared to complain about NBC and had his account suspended. Shame on you,” Michael Reid wrote.

Photo via Twitter

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*First Published: Jul 30, 2012, 3:02 pm CDT