Twitter has found itself in a bit of a controversy the past few days. In short, they suspended the Twitter account of one Guy Adams, a reporter for The Independent who had been tweeting criticism of NBC’s coverage of the Olympics. People took the suspension as a sign of Twitter working with its overlords at NBC to stifle any criticism of their admittedly botched coverage.
In their defense, Twitter’s General Counsel, Alex Macgillivray, says that Twitter would never remove an account on behalf of NBC, or any other party for that matter. While they have a system in place to prevent the posting of personal email addresses, Adams claimed that he posted a public email address for one of NBC’s executives. Twitter wasn’t going to get into a fight over whether a corporate email address is public, but they did own up to their goof in this whole ordeal.
That said, we want to apologize for the part of this story that we did mess up. The team working closely with NBC around our Olympics partnership did proactively identify a Tweet that was in violation of the Twitter Rules and encouraged them to file a support ticket with our Trust and Safety team to report the violation, as has now been reported publicly. Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other.
In short, Twitter’s Trust and Safety Team takes all reports of threats seriously. They will temporarily suspend the account while they investigate the claims. It’s a little extreme, sure, but they claim that this is the best way to prevent any more damage if there is a threat.
I’m sure that there will be people who won’t be able to trust Twitter, even after they directly addressed the problem at hand. Considering that Twitter and NBC are working so closely together, it’s easy to see that some tomfoolery was afoot. It’s hard to say either way, but you have to at least respect Twitter for coming out and apologizing.