Olympics Critic Guy Adams Gets Twitter Reinstated, Still Complains

Twitter admits it broke its own rules by alerting NBC to Guy Adams' critical tweets

Last Updated: July 31, 2012 @ 3:32 PM

Guy Adams, the U.K. reporter for the Independent whose Twitter account was suspended after criticizing NBC's coverage of the 2012 Olympics in London, has had his account reactivated — but he's still not happy about his account going dark in the first place.

Getty ImagesAnd he's complaining about his treatment via — yup — Twitter.

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Adams tweeted earlier Tuesday, expressing his surprise that he could once again vent his frustration in 140 characters or less.

"Oh. My Twitter account appears to have been un-suspended," Adams wrote Tuesday. "Did I miss much while I was away?"

Adams went on to say that Twitter told him his account was re-activated because "we have just received an update from the complainant retracting their original request" and said that Twitter offered "[n]o further explanation given, or apology."

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Adams, whose account went dark  over the weekend following a series of tweets about NBC's coverage, elaborated on the mystery of his Twitter exile and subsequent reinstatement in a column for the Independent on Tuesday.

"I had been trying, for 24 hours now, to speak with an employee about their decision to suspend my account. But at that time while the storm of publicity was at its height, they simply wouldn’t return emails or calls," Adams wrote on the paper's web site. "I’d still like to ask how exactly I was supposed to have broken their 'privacy policy.'"

Adams presumes that Twitter took exception to his posting NBC executive Gary Zenkel's corporate email address, though he notes that posting the address fell within Twitter's guidelines.

According to Adams, Twitter's privacy policy dictates, "If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation.” Adams says he found the address "via a website Twitter ought to have heard of. It's called Google."

Prior to having his Twitter privileges temporarily yanked, Adams issued a flurry of tweets savaging NBC's coverage of the games, and Zenkel in particular.

"Matt Lauer would do well to shut up, wouldn't he?" Adams opined in one tweet.

"Is car advertising an Olympic sport? There's been little else on NBC today," another tweet chided.

"Am I alone in wondering why NBColympics think its acceptable to pretend this road race is being broadcast live?" Adams groused in another tweet.

Twitter apologized in part for the situation on its blog Tuesday, admitting that it had violated its own policy by proactively alerting NBC to Adams' complaints.

"The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a tweet that was in violation of the Twitter Rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our Trust and Safety team to report the violation, as has now been reported publicly. Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other," Alex Macgillivra, the company's general counsel, wrote.

"[W]e do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. This behavior is not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us,"  Macgillivra added. "We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is — whether a business partner, celebrity or friend. As of earlier today, the account has been un-suspended, and we will actively work to ensure this does not happen again."