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Twitter Apologizes, Puts Reporter Back Online After Angering NBC

By Deanne Katz, Esq. | Last updated on

UK reporter Guy Adams was kicked off Twitter this weekend after posting a tweet that included the email address for NBC executive Gary Zenkel. Adams's account was reactivated on Tuesday and he's back on Twitter.

Things quickly steam rolled and now Twitter has apologized, the Los Angeles Times reports

Adams posted a tweet on Friday criticizing NBC for tape-delaying their broadcast of the Olympics and singled out Zenkel as the executive behind the idea. He included Zenkel's NBC email address in his tweet.

Several days later, Twitter notified Adams that he had violated Twitter's terms of use and that as a result they were suspending his account.

Adams was told he could come back to Twitter after he showed that he knows Twitter's policies but Adams argued that had done nothing wrong.

Twitter does not allow users to post any personal information that belongs to someone else without that person's permission.

On their website, they list home address and social security number in the list of forbidden pieces of personal information. But in the email Twitter sent to Adams when his account was suspended, they also listed private email address as a no-no.

But Adams didn't use Zenkel's private email address. He used a work email which anyone could get from Google, as Adams pointed out.

The suspension was surprising given Twitter's positive record on free speech. Of course, the company isn't required to support any kind of speech since it is a private organization and not a part of the government. But it appears that their decision is not part of a large policy change, according to an apology letter published on their blog.

While Twitter's Trust and Safety team does not actively police users' content, it appears that might have happened in this case. The letter indicates that a Twitter employee working with NBC on their Olympics partnership did notice Adams's tweet and encouraged NBC to file a support ticket.

That part of the story wasn't reported to the Trust and Safety team when they received the ticket.

Twitter's response indicates that the communication network doesn't intend to make this a regular occurrence and they have apologized for their part in the issue.

As for Guy Adams, the reporter is back on Twitter and still has much to say about the Olympics.

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