This time, Twitter has suspended the account of a British journalist who tweeted the corporate email address of an NBC executive. The reporter, Guy Adams of the Independent, has been acerbic in his criticisms of NBC's (awful) performance during the Olympics in London.In essence Twitter is banning traditional advocacy where you post the email address of corporate execs and ask people to contact them. It's hard to understand why such behavior is okay on Web sites, but not okay on Twitter? After all this was a corporate email, and of a top guy. He's got computer people to filter out the emails, if not a secretary. Any in any case, people have been publishing actions with corporate emails for years. Why did Twitter do this, if not for its corporate benefactor?
Adams has posted his correspondence with Twitter, which claims he published a private email address. It was nothing of the kind, as many, including the Deadspin sports blog, have pointed out. (Here's the policy, which Adams plainly did not violate, since the NBC executive's email address was already easily discernible on the web — NBC has a firstname.lastname@ system for its email, and it's a corporate address, not a personal one — and was published online over a year ago.)
What makes this a serious issue is that Twitter has partnered with NBC during the Olympics. And it was NBC's complaint about Adams that led to the suspension. That alone raises reasonable suspicions about Twitter's motives.
And why did NBC?