Anyone following the Games on Twitter will have come across the hashtag #NBCfail.
Well, a new trending tag is #Twitterfail.
Many have lambasted NBC-Universal for its coverage. Many are also angry at Twitter, for suspending the account of an outspoken critic of NBC for more than 48 hours.
That critic is British journalist, Guy Adams; Los Angeles correspondent for the British paper, The Independent.
He was suspended after NBC complained that he’d revealed private information by tweeting the email address of an NBC executive.
But Adams defended himself, saying the address was already publicly available.
Twitter has a partnership agreement with NBC to promote the games and the tweets of NBC personalities.
Media writer and blogger, Dan Gillmor, teaches digital media entrepreneurship at Arizona State. He says the incident was shocking, but that people should remember that the owner of a platform can do anything with what people publish, including take it down.
Gillmor also says, “we have to recognize that our interests may not coincide with corporate interests.”
Twitter does not comment on individual cases. But according to Guy Adams, Twitter emailed him to say NBC had retracted its complaint, and therefore his account was unfrozen.
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Aaron Schachter: Anyone following the London Games on Twitter will have come across the #NBCfail. Many users have lambasted NBC Universal for its coverage. Well, one of today’s trending tags is #Twitterfail. The anger this time is directed at Twitter for suspending the account of an outspoken critic of NBC for 48 hours. That critic is British journalist Guy Adams, Los Angeles correspondent for the British paper, The Independent. His account was suspended after NBC complained that he revealed private information by tweeting the email address of an NBC executive. Adams defended himself saying the address was already publicly available. His account was reactivated earlier today. Media writer and blogger Dan Gillmor teaches digital media entrepreneurship at Arizona State.
Dan Gillmor: The shocking part was not so much that a big company like NBC would overreact or that Twitter itself would find itself entangled in a business arrangement that caused it to do something it shouldn’t have done, but that people are realizing, and this is a really important part, that when we publish using other people’s platforms we have to remember that they are the owners of the platforms and they can do whatever they want with what we publish, including take it down.
Schachter: Well, one of the slightly frightening things about this incident is that Twitter has joined in a partnership agreement with NBC to promote the Olympic games and the tweets of NBC personalities, and it certainly looks like in this case that corporate considerations trumped freedom of speech.
Gillmor: It does look as though corporate considerations were paramount. One of the problems of course is that Twitter has been silent about what they did and why, and it would be great if they would talk to us and tell us what was going on. And my earnest hope is that when they do talk to us they will say whoops, we made a big mistake, sorry, we won’t do that again. And also they should make the rules more clear about what people can do with other people’s emails.
Schachter: Now how important do you think this moment is?
Gillmor: Oh, I think it’s important, but not epical. I think we’re going to get past it and move on to something else that’s interesting quickly, but this one does matter. I think as I wrote in The Guardian, I think this clearly would’ve been a defining moment for Twitter if they had not reinstated the account. And we still haven’t had an explanation of what happened in complete explanation. So I don’t, I think it’s a, assuming it all works out the way I hope it will, then it’s a, it’s a good moment in that a large and important company in the online space will have recognized its mistake and fixed it.
Schachter: Will you always remember where you were the moment the Guy Adams Twitter account was shutoff?
Gillmor: Oh, God, no. I have no idea where I was when it was shutoff, I just you know, it was probably in the middle of the night or something.
Schachter: That’s true.
Gillmor: I just, no, I, I’m actually a little bit surprised at how much take up this got and how quickly. And I’m very pleased that folks in the Twitter universe got angry and thought that this was unacceptable.
Schachter: Media writer, blogger, teacher Dan Gillmor, thanks a lot.
Gillmor: Glad to be with you.
Schachter: Well, Twitter does not comment on individual cases, but according to Guy Adams, Twitter emailed him to say NBC had retracted its complaint and therefore his account was unfrozen. You’re listening to PRI, Public Radio International.
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