Biggest Critic Of NBC's Awful Olympic Coverage Has Twitter Account Suspended For Tweeting NBC Exec's Email

from the questionable... dept

One of the loudest critics of NBC Universal's awful Olympics coverage was Guy Adams, who certainly wasn't pulling any punches with his Olympics-related tweets. Either way he was a bit surprised to find his account suspended. When he sought to find out why, he discovered it was because he had tweeted the email address of Gary Zenkel, NBC's exec in charge of the Olympics coverage. Twitter claims that this was the revealing of "private information," in violation of Twitter's terms of service.

Adams, quite rightly, found this to be odd, noting that Zenkel's corporate email address is not private at all. As Deadspin shows in the link above, Adams let Twitter's PR folks know it:
I'm of course happy to abide by Twitter's rules, now and forever. But I don't see how I broke them in this case: I didn't publish a private email address. Just a corporate one, which is widely available to anyone with access to Google, and is identical to one that all of the tens of thousands of NBC Universal employees share.

It's no more "private" than the address I'm emailing you from right now.

Either way, quite worrying that NBC, whose parent company are an Olympic sponsor, are apparently trying (and, in this case, succeeding) in shutting down the Twitter accounts of journliasts who are critical of their Olympic coverage.
Adams also wonders if the suspension happened because of complaints from NBC -- a Twitter partner in this Olympics coverage, remember -- who is upset about Adams' constant berating on Twitter as well as in the publication he writes for, The Independent. In fact, NBC has put out a statement confirming that it filed a complaint about Adams' Twitter account, though Twitter did not need to then suspend his account.

And, of course, as tends to happen in these sorts of situations, Gary Zenkel's email address is now much more widely available because tons of press reports are including it.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Tunnen (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    I was assuming their be at least a 4 hour wait before NBC would release their rebuttal. =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    They wanted to tweet his email during primetime.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    mudlock (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Well, no one's perfect

    Article ends with "Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton who created the internet."

    Berners-Lee, of course, invented the web; an important piece of, but not the, internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

    Whom do you think makes the real laws?

    I'll give you a hint:

    It takes gobs of money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Tunnen (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    Ugggg, lack of coffee... there'd not their. I also meant delay not wait...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Tunnen (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    Re: Well, no one's perfect

    You mean he's the leader of Google? =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Mwhahaha, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    I really don't see a problem with twitter having a standard rule for everyone and every situation when it comes to putting out email addresses, business or home.

    I think if you have issues with that kind of good manners to users then you're looking way to hard to find problems with things.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Jollygreengiant (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    You forgot to mention NBC's email format is firstname.lastname@nbcuni.com , so if your name was, for instance, Zary Genkel, your address would be zary.genkel@nbcuni.com .

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Lord Binky, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    They succeeded in getting his account suspended which achieves their goal of 'untwisting the boss's/board's panties' by way of flexing muscle. Unfortunately Gary Zenkel must be seen as beneath their concern, because he will be the one likely recieving the majority of the backlash.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Glen, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Heeeellllloooooo Barbara Streisand effect.

     

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  11.  
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    Kaemaril (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Personal information?

    So NBC claimed that this dude posted 'personal information' and that personal information was ... a corporate e-mail account that a five-year old could have figured out? This fails the smell test.

    This isn't a genuine complaint, this is NBC wanting this guy shut up.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    mudlock (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Well, no one's perfect

    Al Gore is leading Google now?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    PRMan, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re:

    I have to wait 3 more hours since I'm on the West Coast...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Tunnen (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Well, no one's perfect

    Well the RIAA taught me that Google controls the Internet... And IP laws taught me that the inventor controls his inventions. That means that Al Gore must be Google.

    (You just need to let that logical fallacy soak in a bit =P)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    btr1701 (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:22pm

    Re:

    > I really don't see a problem with twitter
    > having a standard rule for everyone and
    > every situation when it comes to putting
    > out email addresses, business or home.

    But they don't. A few months ago, when Spike Lee tweeted the home address of George Zimmerman after the Trayvon shooting, Twitter didn't suspend Lee's account. And it was all the worse because Lee didn't even tweet the correct address and ended up victimizing some completely innocent people to the point where they had to flee their home for their own safety.

    This is clearly a case of Twitter silencing a critic at the behest of NBC and they're just using the email address as a flimsy excuse for doing it.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Jason, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Gee the Obama propaganda network censored a critic. Big Surprise!

     

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  17.  
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    Tunnen (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Personal information?

    I'm thinking almost anything coming out of NBC would fail the smell test. After all, they deal with shoveling out crap all day.

    Guess the same could be said about most media outlets. =P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Again?, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    Getting pretty tired of the "Silenced Journalist" articles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Re:

    So Gary Zenkel's Email is Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com?
    Who would of thought it would be something as simple as Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Gary Zenkel, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Re:

    Get used to it, and stop complaining.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    Re: Personal information?

    "This isn't a genuine complaint, this is NBC wanting this guy shut up."

    And apparently Twitter fell for it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re:

    +1 internets

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Just mailed gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com to ask him to relocate himself to another universe were facism and censorship are accepted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:03pm

    Re:

    It's good manners not to share information about someone that they share about them-selfs ,since when?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:07pm

    That is Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com with a "Z", right?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    gnudist, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Re:

    *watches AC's face morph into a trollface*

    Dear FSM ACOET got another one.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Also a lesson in the importance of not making assumptions, both of Zimmerman's guilt and the accuracy of information in any media.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
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    surfer (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    Re:

    I emailed him wishing him good luck on that copyright thing. It's faster to get events from usenet before it even is televised in the states, thanks to his 'prime time' delay, how ironic...

    Sadly they don't include McDonalds proprietary commercials.

    /sarc

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    surfer (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    Yes Gary.Zenkel@nbcuni.com is spelled with a 'Z'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
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    surfer (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re:

    Over 1435 results already on google, in 15 countries, for Gary.Zenkel@NBCuni.com. Will he get them all shut down?

    Bad career move, the Internet is gonna eviscerate the copytard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:26pm

    Re:

    Fail. Try again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm getting 4,160 results now.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In 38 minutes.. I lol'd so hard.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Re:

    Dude! They're going to shut down your anonymous commenting on Techdirt if you keep posting Gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Aaron Legler, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Rule for EVERYONE

    Mwhahaha said - "a standard rule for everyone and every situation..."

    Yet, when Spike Lee tweeted the (incorrect) address of George Zimmerman (in an attempt to get him lynched, I suppose) the didn't suspend his account.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 7:35pm

    Re:

    "I really don't see a problem with twitter having a standard rule for everyone and every situation when it comes to putting out email addresses, business or home."

    Only in a very simplistic world (yours maybe?) does one rule cover all situations without causing stupid situations, like widely publicised email addresses being considered private.

    "I think if you have issues with that kind of good manners to users then you're looking way to hard to find problems with things."

    I think if you don't have an issue with NBC censoring a critical journalist then you're not looking hard enough.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:12pm

    Re:

    Can you explain why you're so tired of this, and why we should just all shut up and let journalists get censored by corporate and/or government interests?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    icon
    Watchit (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 8:25pm

    I don't think they care about the email

    I don't think NBC cares that the email is more widely know now, they're probably just happy Adam's twitter account is suspended.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Bad career move, the Internet is gonna eviscerate the copytard."

    Words like that are the reasons why dickheads with Fawkes masks are hard to take seriously. Do you ever get out from behind the keyboard, or doesn't mommy not let you out after dark?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    Tobias Harms (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Not sure about his reasons but I'm tired of them as well. I'm tired of journalists getting silenced. Tired of congress speculating if the can charge journalists with espionage. Bet Nixon would have loved being able to do that :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    Tobias Harms (profile), Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    26 000 now. Who would have guessed that this could have been such a bad idéa? ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 30th, 2012 @ 11:41pm

    as usual, power and money corrupts and absolute power and money corrupts absolutely. the really worrying thing i think is the lack of checks done by Twitter before suspending the account. but then why would they worry about one check when they have the other cheque ($) from NBC?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 12:23am

    Re: Well, no one's perfect

    Well, at least they now have some vague of who he is, unlike during the event itself. We can give them a little extra time to educate themselves further.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
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    techflaws (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 1:36am

    Re:

    Getting pretty tired of the "Silenced Journalist" articles.

    Who cares?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    Darryl, Jul 31st, 2012 @ 2:29am

    come down to intent

    Why would someone post an email address that was allready publicly available ??? for what purpose was it designed to achieve ?

    Simple really,, he wanted to incite his followers to email this person, and incite them to spam, flood, or otherwise harass this person.

    There is simply no other reason why someone would do that, unless he/she was looking for trouble..

    I know, Masnick makes him out to be all innocent, and did not 'mean' anything by it, but perhaps he can explain WHY he would even do that ?

    I hope they delete his account, and put him on a permanent ban..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Kevin (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 2:51am

    Flop

    Let's face it. This Olympics is a flop. it is obvious that the TV networks world wide know that they have little chance of attracting the number of viewers previous Olympics had.
    The OIC can be blamed. Allowing NON Olympic events to enter the games, I'm talking about team sports such as basketball, soccer, tennis and such, bore people. We see enough of it during other times.
    The Olympics is suppose to be for individual achievements not team sports.
    Dump them all and get back to basics and then, maybe, the Olympics will survive. Follow the current trend and in 20 years it will be a non event, maybe sooner

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    icon
    drew (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 2:56am

    Re: come down to intent

    Possibly he posted it so that people would write to this chap and point out how awful his coverage was and request he sort his act out. I mean, it's only the biggest sporting event in the world...

    ALternatively, why would you post such a deliberately goading post here, knowing that all you'll do is provoke a frustrated / angry response?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 31st, 2012 @ 3:24am

    What's the fuss with this gary.zenkel@nbcuni.com email actually ? Who's this Gary guy ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 4:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Every day when I go to work for 6 figures, at a company with presence in 154 countries.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 6:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And with comments like that, you have made your opinions null and void.
    Too bad, you are hiding behind an Anonymous Coward nom-de-plume.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    jackn2, Jul 31st, 2012 @ 7:49am

    Anyone have an email for twitter? support or executive?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    jackn2, Jul 31st, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    sorry dude, that sucks. Just keep at it and maybe you will be self-sufficient some day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    icon
    valia (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Bankrupt NBC

    Solve several problems at once. Bankrupt NBC.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 8:42am

    I'm so happy to NOT be watching the Olympics.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    surfer (profile), Jul 31st, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    My comment just flew right over your head didn't it.. I own my mom's house, she's dead, and a house in Colorado, and a house in Florida, also, my mom's house doesn't have a basement, nor have I lived there for 34 years,.. I just rent it out now, and I STILL file share instead of paying the MAFIAA, now, with that in mind, ask yourself why I still refuse to give any money to entertainment industries.

    Jealous much?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 3rd, 2012 @ 3:33am

    Didn't take long for that slippery slope.
    Start with individual tweets requested by Countries/Governments, making for a transparent, better, more useful service? Move on to accounts at request of corporation.

    Does knowing twitter suspended an account make the service more useful?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    ann lamberti, Feb 9th, 2014 @ 6:48am

    olympic coverage

    I do not have a friend or family member in the olympics, however we have people from all over the world the have spent a life time preparing for the games and all we are getting are announcers who in their own right are talented but this is about the atheletes. You need to give as many of them as possible some air time . folks this is NOT a variety show this is the OLYMPICS. Show these dedicated people more, it so hard for me to understand why this is not paramount. Thanks Ann

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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