This story has been updated with comments that Twitter's general counsel posted on a blog.
Roughly 24 hours after Twitter suspended journalist Guy Adams
from the site for tweeting the email address of an NBC executive, the social network reinstated his account
According to Adams, Twitter offered only a brief explanation, saying the complaint against him had been withdrawn, which is why it was reinstating his account.
NBC issued a statement about the incident, which The Wall Street Journa
l’s Christopher Stewart shared via Twitter
“Our interest was in protecting our executive, not suspending the user from Twitter. We didn’t initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it.”
Adams has been an outspoken critic of NBC’s Olympics coverage. On Monday, he encouraged his followers to share their displeasure with the coverage by emailing the executive responsible for it. The tweet included the exec’s email address.
One NBC PR exec told The Daily Telegraph
that Twitter pointed out the tweet in question, which led the network to file the complaint.
In a blog post on Tuesday
, Twitter general counsel Alex Macgillivray explained the social network's "Trust and Safety" policy, outlining how and why it suspends a user's account for violating its rules on policy. Macgillivray said Twitter doesn't seek out users who break these policies and suspend them. As a result, the NBC incident was a mistake, for which Macgillivray apologized.
"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."
The rather thorough explanation from Twitter is a smart move to help restore confidence in the social network, which a number of people questioned in the wake of this incident. It is interesting that the company gave the responsibility of writing the post to its top lawyer (or at least the byline), and not a communications professional.