More Twitter weirdness: Indy's Guy Adams suspended, 'offensive' tweets now arrestable

Independent journalist Guy Adams has accused Twitter of undermining its “entire raison d’etre”  by suspending his account.

Adams was blocked from the site after posting the following Tweet: ‘The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel.Tell him what u think.” The tweet included Zenkel’s email address in apparent contravention of Twitter policy.

NBC, which has a commercial relationship with Twitter, has denied that it was responsible for the complaint saying that Twitter itself had initiated it. But information published by Adams today clearly suggests there some collusion between the two organisations in getting him banned.

Apparently, Adams can get back on Twitter by responding to an email setting out Twitter’s rules and saying that he understands them.

Adams has published his response to Twitter:

“You will, I am sure, be aware that your own privacy policy, which you have urged me to read, states that “If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation of this policy.”

Mr Zenkel’s email address HAD been posted on the internet prior to being put on Twitter, Therefore can you explain how my Tweet violated your policy? Or are you making this up as you go along?

Moreover, I just recieved a copy of a written statement from an NBC spokesman called Christopher McCloskey. It was issued via email this evening to Amy Willis, a correspondent at the Daily Telegraph, in answer to her query regarding how NBC’s complaint came to be lodged with Twitter, and how NBC originally became aware of my original Tweet.

Mr McCloskey states (and I quote): “Our social media dept was actually alerted to it by Twitter and then we filled out the form and submitted it.”

Unless he is lying, this means that my account was suspended after Twitter decided, at its own behest, to get in touch with a commercial partner in order to encourage them to have a hostile journalist removed from the Twitter-sphere.

Surely this runs against everything your company is supposed to represent? And surely it completely undermines Twitter’s entire raison d’etre, corporate ethos, etc?

Meanwhile there was more Twitter weirdness today as a 17-year-old was arrested over an offensive Tweet aimed at British diver Tom Daley making reference to his dead father. As many others have noted, if being offensive is now illegal Britain’s prisons will be soon filled with Twitter users – and half the columnists on Fleet Street.

Although many Twitter users rely on the cloak of anonymity, it appears that this is paper thin if there is any sort of legal demand for more information – as exemplified by the fact Twitter has agreed to hand over all the information it holds on spoof tweeter @UnSteveDorkland to Northcliffe following a legal challenge.

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