Twitter: "We did mess up"; restores reporter's account

Earlier this week, Guy Adams, the Los Angeles bureau chief of the popular UK newspaper The Independent, found that his Twitter account had been suspended. Adams has previously posted up a number of messages that were highly critical of NBC's coverage of the London 2012 Summer Olympics. One of them even included the work email address of Gary Zenkel, NBC's Olympics President.

NBC requested that Twitter suspend Adams' Twitter page after that post, and Twitter complied. Today, in a post on Twitter's official blog, the company apologized for suspending Adams' account and has now restored it.

At issue is whether or not Adams' posting of a work email address violated Twitter's own terms of service, which state, "You may not publish or post other people's private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission."

In its blog update today, Twitter stated:

There are many individuals who may use their work email address for a variety of personal reasons — and some may not. Our Trust and Safety team does not have insight into the use of every user’s email address, and we need a policy that we can implement across all of our users in every instance.

Twitter admitted that "we did mess up" in dealing with Adams' particular case, saying, " ... we do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. This behavior is not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us. We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is — whether a business partner, celebrity or friend."

Source: Twitter blog

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Isn't there a clause in every job contract that goes along the lines of "you may not use company email accounts for personal communications"? That someone might decide to breach this is of no concern to Twitter.

mrbester said,
Isn't there a clause in every job contract that goes along the lines of "you may not use company email accounts for personal communications"? That someone might decide to breach this is of no concern to Twitter.

I was thinking the same thing.

mrbester said,
Isn't there a clause in every job contract that goes along the lines of "you may not use company email accounts for personal communications"? That someone might decide to breach this is of no concern to Twitter.

Yeah but what can Zenkel do about that? As an employee he only has so much control of his email account and if Guy finds out what it is posts it how is Zenkel to be at fault? Also Zenkel is under those terms not Adams.

mrbester said,
Isn't there a clause in every job contract that goes along the lines of "you may not use company email accounts for personal communications"? That someone might decide to breach this is of no concern to Twitter.

Actually most places I have worked state that limited personal use of email accounts and internet is acceptable.

Good to see NBC didn't get away with censorship (they rightly fell victim to the Streisand Effect). They should take a hint from #NBCFail and improve their own damn coverage!

That probably won't happen though, so use a proxy server and watch the BBC's coverage.

That's good. But Guy Adams is a childish little fool anyways though. Just read his tweets that were removed and you'll see. He sounds like a little 13 year old boy.

andrewbares said,
That's good. But Guy Adams is a childish little fool anyways though. Just read his tweets that were removed and you'll see. He sounds like a little 13 year old boy.

As the vast majority (but not all) UK reporters.