Whatever you made of the Olympics opening ceremony (in my opinion typically British with lots of eccentricity, in-jokes and humour) there was a particular ugly incident which we should all guard against.
The general consensus is that US broadcaster NBC didn’t do a particular good job when covering the event (it wasn’t live and they missed out great chunks). But things got nasty when a UK journalists’ Twitter account was suspended when he criticised the US network.
And Twitter was forced to climb down after fellow Tweeters made their feelings felt with further digs at the US network.
The journalist concerned, Guy Adams, complained about the poor coverage via a Tweet and included the email address of a NBC executive. He says that NBC only complained about the Tweet after it had been alerted by Twitter itself.
Apparently Twitter policy is to temporarily suspend an account if it uses a tweet to harass, or intimidate someone.
Most people didn’t see it that way of course. They reckoned it was nice corporate speak for we had our ears bent by a leading US network and decided to play it safe.
Twitter eventually apologised and said that their team had been a little zealous on this occasion. NBC also realised that they were attracting huge amounts of negative attention which had gone viral.
In short, neither Twitter, nor NBC have come out of this incident particularly well.
And the simple lesson is, don’t be seen to be using account suspension as a form censorship, because it just won’t work.