Guy Adams, a journalist for The Independant in Los Angeles seems to have had his twitter accound suspended over dispariging remarks regarding NBC’s (crappy) Olympic Coverage.
Viewers have made their frustrations known via Twitter over the last several days, with variations of #NBCfail and #NBCsucks soaring to the top of the service’s trending topics as a result. Yet Twitter’s suspension of this one account (paired with its cozy relationship with NBCduring these London games) has drawn a swell of criticism. But as it turns out, Twitter’s terms of service give it the right to take action against Adams — an uncomfortable reminder that even the most popular social media platforms are under private authority.
Whilst I agree the prospect of twitter suspending or banning an individual over criticism of a corporate organisation is truly terrifying, I think this particular case is a bit of a non-starter. Adams tweeted the personal email address of an NBC staffer and encouraged his followers to directly email him and vent their fury and it was this act that violated twitter’s terms of services.
Ultimately, twitter is a private service (not a public good), the right to absolute free speech does not exist and this was simply a dumb move on the part of Adams. I hope the ban isn’t permanent, but I think twitter probably made the right call on this one.