It has been over a year since I last logged in to my Twitter account. I had grown tired of (and not a little bored with) the format, as it was nearly impossible to put across a complete sentence, much less a coherent thought, in the tiny space provided.
I had also become concerned about their site security, as well as what I perceived to be an anti-conservative bias on the part of the moderators. As far as I know, nothing I ever posted was ever taken down, but I saw it happen to many others.
I have to admit I have watched very little of NBC’s coverage outside of the opening ceremonies (which appeared to me to be one big commercial for communism), so I cannot speak to its overall quality or lack thereof. Most of the chatter I have seen via the Internet seems to be frustration concerning NBC using tape-delayed broadcasts instead of showing events in real time.
Frankly I do not get what the fuss is about, as to me it makes sense to broadcast the events here in America during prime time. I mean, is that not why it is called prime time?
Now, due to pressure from NBC, an American writer for a British publication has had their Twitter account suspended for posting tweets that were less than flattering concerning NBC’s coverage of the 2012 London Olympics.
I cannot say I begrudge NBC complaining to Twitter, as they have every right to – even if it is little petty.
What does concern me is Twitter’s haste in doing their bidding and pulling down the account:
Critic of NBC has Twitter account suspended after network complains
Guy Adams works as a writer for The Independent, a national newspaper in Great Britain. He lives in Los Angeles. Throughout the Olympics, he’s taken to Twitter and ripped NBC repeatedly for its coverage of the Games in America.
Namely, he’s criticized the network’s reliance on using tape delays, a frustration shared by millions of viewers.
Only in a marriage of old media and social media, Guy Adams no longer has a Twitter account. It was suspended Tuesday, and both NBC and Twitter ought to be humiliated by their thin-skinned, heavy-handed, and essentially pointless behavior.
Adams was no doubt relentless in his tweets.
“Am I alone in wondering why NBColympics think its [sic] acceptable to pretend this road race is being broadcast live?” he wrote in one.
“Matt Lauer: ‘Madagascar, a location indelibly associated with a couple of recent animated movies,’” he mocked on another.
Adams encouraged Lauer “to shut up” and called out Gary Zenkel, the president of NBC Olympics, as the “moronic exec behind the time delay.” And he said Zenkel should be fired.
That’s essentially how Twitter works, of course. It can be profane, reactionary, and often ridiculous. It breeds all sorts of over-the-top anger, outrageous talk, and off-the-handle opinions.
Adams said in a column for The Independent that Twitter claimed he crossed the line by tweeting out Zenkel’s corporate email address and encouraging his followers to contact the executive directly.
The email address is easily identifiable, common with how thousands of NBC/Univision employees’ email addresses are determined.
Twitter soon suspended Adams’ account, he said. In a story he wrote in The Independent, Adams wrote that after filing an article critical of NBC’s coverage, he checked his Twitter account only to find it had been suspended. When he inquired why, he received the following response: “Your Twitter account has been suspended for posting an individual’s private information such as private email address.”
With that, the account was gone.
And a controversy was born.
You will find the rest of the article at this link.
Of course, I recognize Twitter is a private organization, and they have every right to control the content of their site. As such, because the account was not taken down at the behest of a government entity, it really does not rise to my definition of “censorship.”
What is unsettling is Twitter was so quick to cave in to pressure from a corporate entity, the parent company of which just happens to be a sponsor of the games. I read many other tweets that were critical of NBC’s coverage on Twitter, and those accounts are still intact.
Why was Mr. Adams singled out?
Thin-skinned NBC aside, this is a very visible black eye for Twitter, as the reason they gave for suspending Mr. Adams account was clearly bogus.
It took me all of about thirty seconds to find Gary Zenkel’s “private” email addy.
We seem to be getting to a point where outspoken public criticism of individuals and organizations is becoming less and less tolerated.
You have to wonder how long it will take Obama’s government to catch on and start having not just comments removed that are critical of the Dear Ruler, but entire sites taken down that allow crtiticism of the POtuS.