Twitter initiated ban on UK journalist

Social media technology

Twitter initiated ban on UK journalist

Warwick Ashford

Twitter has admitted encouraging US broadcaster and commercial partner NBC to file a complaint that led to the suspension of a UK journalist's account.

Guy Adams, a foreign correspondent for The Independent, was suspended from the micro-blogging site on Sunday after posting a series of critical tweets about NBC's Olympics coverage. 

Adams called on others to complain and tweeted the corporate e-mail address of Gary Zenkel, president of NBC Olympics.

Twitter immediately shut down Adams's account and told him it was a violation of the site's rules to post the private and confidential information of others, sparking public criticism.

In a public apology, Twitter said it had “proactively” identified a tweet in violation of its rules and admitted that it was wrong to encourage NBC to file a complaint, saying it had been the result of an internal communication failure.

Christopher McCloskey, NBC's vice-president of communications, told the Telegraph that Twitter had initiated the ban, not NBC.

“Our social media department was alerted to it by Twitter, and then we filled out the form and submitted it,” he said.

Adams, whose account was reinstated on Tuesday after NBC retracted its complaint, said the micro-blogging site had failed to adhere to its own policy on non-interference.

He wrote in The Independent on Tuesday that his ban "raises various ethical issues relevant to journalism in the online era".

According to the Wall Street Journal, Twitter and NBC entered into a partnership for the London Olympic Games, with the technology company featuring highlighted tweets from sports insiders in return for on-air promotions. No money was exchanged in the deal, the paper said.

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