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Reporter's account suspended by Twitter after harsh criticism of NBC's coverage

Posted by Chad Finn, Globe Staff  July 30, 2012 05:39 PM

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LONDON -- NBC's decision to show tape-delayed events in prime time has generated a steady whirlwind of criticism on the social-network site Twitter.

But for now, one particularly harsh critic will no longer be allowed to use the outlet to do so.

Twitter suspended the account of journalist Guy Adams after he sent out the NBC e-mail address of NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel and encouraged his followers to send him their complaints.

Adams, a Los Angeles-based editor for "The Independent,'' wrote about his suspension Monday night, explaining that during his frustration with NBC's tape-delayed coverage of Friday's Opening Ceremonies, he tweeted: β€œThe man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven't started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think!”

After he discovered his account had been suspended Sunday morning, he sent a request to Twitter asking why. The response, which Adams said he believed was an automatically generated reply, said:

Your twitter account has been suspended for posting an individual's private information such as private email address.

It included an image of his Tweet about Zenkel.

Posting private information such as an e-mail address is a violation of Twitter rules. But as Adams noted, Zenkel's e-mail address is a corporate one easily found on Google.

The suspension generated speculation that NBC has been involved in Twitter's decision since they are partners during the Olympic Games. There is no indication that is the case.

"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 night. "According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy. Twitter alone levies discipline."

Update: Adams posts an update writing that NBC blames Twitter for the complaint that led to Adams's account suspension:

This evening, an ominous development: according to an NBC spokesman called Christopher McCloskey, it was the micro-blogging site [Twitter]– and not NBC – that was responsible for initiating the complaint that lead to my suspension in the first place.

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