07.31.12

NBC’s Ties To Twitter : Watch What You Tweet About Al Roker

Posted in Free Expression, olympics, Sports Journalism, Sports TV, twitter twatter at 11:50 am by

““The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel,” read the offending tweet from The Independent’s Guy Adams. “Tell him what u think!” Apparently, the naming and shaming of a television industry professional falls outside of Twitter’s standards and practices, as Adams finds himself banned from the service today. Either Twitter has picked a particularly convenient moment to exercise such censorship (the beneficiary in this case being a media partner) or Zenkel — much like Sirius/XM’s ethically challenged Dino Costa — believes he’s above public criticism. Slate’s Will Oremus wonders, “why can’t the public realize that any technical glitches are their own fault, and that it’s wrong to hold the network’s personnel accountable?”

Not long after, Adams’ Twitter account was suspended and his tweets disappeared. The social media site informed Adams that he had violated the site’s policy against “posting an individual’s private information.” And what might have prompted Twitter to enforce this heretofore-little-known policy? Well, an NBC Sports spokesperson acknowledged that the network filed a complaint with Twitter, but added, “Twitter alone levies discipline.”

Given that Twitter has partnered with NBC to offer an official Olympics page, my first thought would be that the network might have exercised some corporate leverage here. But that’s probably just because the situation is too complex for me to understand.

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