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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 03:01 PM ET, 07/31/2012

Twitter-banned critic of NBC returns


Malik Fall of Senegal warms up at the Aquatics Center at the Olympic Park. (Matt Slocum - AP)
Before Guy Adams, a Los Angeles-based correspondent for The Independent of London, was banned from Twitter for an allegedly errant tweet that included the corporate e-mail address of an NBC executive, his thoughts on Twitter got a respectable amount of attention. He’d get a handful of retweets here, eight or ten there. Solid, not record-breaking.

But when Adams tweeted moments ago that he was now back as a fully authorized tweeter, the thought gained 544 retweets within 10 minutes or so. It’s trending quickly above 1,000.

Congratulations, NBC and Twitter: You have manufactured a celebrity detractor.

And what a job it was. Just days ago, Adams was a guy kvetching about NBC’s coverage. Oh, the tape delay of the Opening Ceremonies. Oh, the stupid announcers and executives. How many such folks were saying the same thing? Check Google and click through page after page of results. Adams was engaged in an Internet slugfest with all of them.

Now, though, he has emerged, with a megaphone and killer amp gift-wrapped by NBC and Twitter, a corporate partnership that came together for these Olympic games. Together these two managed to spot and condemn a tweet by Adams directing NBC detractors to the e-mail address of NBC Olympics honcho Gary Zenkel. An NBC spokesperson has said that Twitter first alerted the network to the e-mail-identifying tweet, and NBC thereupon filed a complaint. After two days of being un-Twittered, Adams is now back, having tweeted that his reinstatement came at the request of the complainant NBC, which had retracted the original request.

And NBC spokesperson issues this explanation via e-mail:

“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 We didn’t initially understand the repercussions of our complaint, but now that we do, we have rescinded it.”

Both classy and smart. NBC clearly didn’t want this story to live a minute longer. And Zenkel would probably appreciate a lighter e-mail load, not to mention a complete Olympics re-boot, given the expectations that he outlined earlier in the month, upon announcing the partnership with Twitter:

“With the eyes of the world focused on London, there is no doubt that the conversation on Twitter will rage around the competition, the athletes and the incredible stories from the Games. This partnership with Twitter will enable NBC Olympics to make an enormous contribution to this conversation, bringing to the swarm of attention surrounding the London Games our expertise, depth of content from our years of preparation, and the unique access to the Games only NBC Olympics has in London.”

That explains why NBC and Twitter went after Adams. The conversation raging on Twitter wasn’t following the companies’ topical plans.

By  |  03:01 PM ET, 07/31/2012

 
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