Twitter Just Helped #NBCFail

Since the opening of the 2012 London Olympics, NBC has been trending on Twitter around the world, but not in the way the company had originally hoped.

Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo - via Twitter

The trendiest hashtag of these Olympic games so far has been ‘#NBCFail’, a hashtag that originally was used to lambast NBC for its failure to air the opening ceremonies live for US citizens. The term then evolved to grill them further for the editing of the ceremonies themselves.

Danny Boyle, acclaimed director of the film “Slumdog Millionaire”, produced a show intended to celebrate the industrialization and democracy of Great Britain. It also featured a piece honoring the victims of the July 7, 2005, suicide bombings that took the lives of 52 Londoners.  The beautiful tribute was cut in favor of a mediocre interview of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and TV’s Ryan Seacrest!

NBC spokesman Greg Hughes responded to overwhelming criticism for the decision with this:

“Our programming is tailored for the U.S. audience. It’s a tribute to producer Danny Boyle that it required so little editing.”

NBC’s move was incredibly insulting to Americans & Londoners alike, as fans flocked to use the hashtag as a means to voice their opinions. Could you imagine the BBC, the world’s first national broadcasting organization, cutting footage of an American tribute to 9-11 victims in a future Olympic Games hosted in the states, just because it wasn’t ‘tailored for a UK audience’? The BBC would never hear the end of it! So it goes to show why one upset viewer, Independent Reporter, Guy Adams, made a tweet that helped that voice reach the ears of NBC officials, which they didn’t appreciate too much. Adams, who had began to furiously tweet his less than favorable opinions about NBC’s coverage, made a tweet displaying that gave his followers the means to complain to the source by providing an email to NBC executive Gary Zenkel.

@guyadams: “The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven’t started yet is Gary Zenkel. Tell him what u think! Email:”

The tweet was an immediate complaint, brought up not by NBC officials, but by Twitter’s own employees who brought it to the attention of their Olympic partner’s attention.  NBC then demanded the account be taken down for violating Twitter policies, so Twitter did just that.  The violation that NBC is citing is one claiming that Adams posted a private email address of an NBC employee. But here’s the thing, this isn’t a violation of Twitter’s rules, because Gary Zenkel’s email is but one Google search away. The actions of Guy Adams don’t actually violate Twitter’s privacy policy which reads specifically:

‘Keep in mind that although you may consider certain information to be private, not all postings of such information may be a violation of this policy. 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.’

Millions of people worldwide depend on Twitter as a medium for free-speech and where they’re allowed to be critical, allowed to voice their opinions.  NBC violated that right when they suspended Adams’ account for his remarks, remarks that voiced the opinions of Olympic fans around the world. It worries me that the partnership between NBC and Twitter is powerful enough to start censoring our world exposure and violating our rights of speech so easily, just because they found it distasteful to their image and interests.

On Tuesday Adams’ account was back up after an email from Twitter stating that the complainant had retracted the original complaint.  Seems like NBC had just gotten tired of all the criticism and bit off more than expected in trying to silence this journalist.

Guy Adams Twitter account restored

Guy Adams Twitter account restored - via CNET

Just as nobody wants a bunch of  yes-men around them, NBC, you shouldn’t want a bunch of yes-viewers telling you that you’re doing a great job. This is not an NBC Success on your part, this is more of an #NBCFail.



Guy Adam’s Twitter Account Back Up… – Huffington Post

Did Twitter suspend journalist Guy Adams’ account for blasting NBC? – CBS News

Was Twitter right to suspend Guy Adams’ account? – LA Times

Twitter’s breach of trust – C|Net

Twitter Restores Journalist’s Account, But Remains at Ethical Crossroads – Wired



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