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Twitter Boots Critic of NBC For Tweeting Exec's Email Address 104

Posted by samzenpus
from the was-that-wrong? dept.
netbuzz writes "Guy Adams, a Los Angeles-based correspondent for The Independent of London, had his Twitter account suspended today, allegedly for having violated a Twitter privacy policy when he tweeted the workplace email address of an NBC Sports executive. The Internet is abuzz with accusations – no make that assumptions – that Twitter muzzled Adams because Adams was tweeting up a storm of protest over NBC's coverage of the Games. However, Twitter says it was because it prohibits the tweeting of 'non-public, personal email addresses.' Whether Adams did that or not appears debatable." Update: 07/31 17:48 GMT by S : Adams's Twitter account has been reinstated.
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Twitter Boots Critic of NBC For Tweeting Exec's Email Address

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  • HMMM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nopainogain (1091795) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:10PM (#40823611)
    Comcast owns NBC... Comcast supports NDAA, NBC aligns itself with twitter which tries to silence whistleblower. I miss freedom.
  • Hey Twitter, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:10PM (#40823617)

    #fuckyou

  • by gl4ss (559668) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:11PM (#40823623) Homepage Journal

    that's the debate if you're wondering.
    if it wasn't public, how did he have it? personal relation? but no need for that since it was published on a blog.
    and it's an email address for a fucking nbc exec, not for some secret agent...

    and why it's a story is that there's moneyflow between olympics, nbc and twitter due to them doing big co-operation around the games.

    and why nbc sucks is that they edited the opening ceremony and showed it time delayed(the reasoning is that americans are too stupid for the un-edited version, basically).

    • by Goose In Orbit (199293) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:24PM (#40823775)

      Worse still - they went to commercial during the tribute to the victims of the 7/7 London bombing. Can you imagine how much trouble they'd be in for doing the same to the 9/11 victims?

      • by biodata (1981610) on Tuesday July 31, 2012 @02:56AM (#40826129)
        What's even worse is they went to Ryan Seacrest
    • by Blue Stone (582566) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:26PM (#40823789) Homepage Journal

      first.last@nbcuni.com

      That's the template used by NBC for their CORPORATE emails. Replace "first.last" with the name of any exec and that's the amazingly private super-secret personal details the journalist had his account killed for.

      The NBC executive was called Gary Zenkel.

      This post would be a violation of Twitters TOS!

      • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:30PM (#40823817) Homepage Journal

        welcome to the Streisand effect!

        I bet their exchange server is choking as we speak. There's little doubt it's exchange, either...

      • first.last@nbcuni.com

        That's the template used by NBC for their CORPORATE emails. Replace "first.last" with the name of any exec and that's the amazingly private super-secret personal details the journalist had his account killed for.

        But, the email wasn't posted publicly anywhere by NBC. Although one could easily figure it out, that doesn't suddenly make it public. For example, phone numbers all have the template nnn-nnnn, and due to common exchanges, they can be easily narrowed down to a few thousand numbers and brute forced to find anyone within a geographic area. Does that mean that they are all public, regardless of unlisted status?

        The question isn't the difficulty of determining the email, but whether the email owner chose to publ

        • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday July 30, 2012 @07:07PM (#40824083) Homepage Journal

          Again.. this ignores the fact that no one can find this rule in the TOS.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @09:40PM (#40824889)

            Again.. this ignores the fact that no one can find this rule in the TOS.

            I am sure it is in the new TOS as of right now. Pray that Twitter don't alter the TOS any further.

            • Again.. this ignores the fact that no one can find this rule in the TOS.

              I am sure it is in the new TOS as of right now. Pray that Twitter don't alter the TOS any further.

              Out of mod points, pity.

        • You'd need to look at the policy documents for the IT department. If they maintain a consistent email name system to "facilitate corporate-customer contact" or some such, then it's fair game. If, on the other hand, they treat email addresses as secrets on the same level as employee's home phone numbers, then it's "hacking", albeit of the most fundamental type.
        • But, the email wasn't posted publicly anywhere by NBC.

          Here is the rule in question (I found it in the Twitter Rules [twitter.com], which you also agree to when you also agree to their Terms of Services)

          Privacy: You may not publish or post other people's private and confidential information, such as credit card numbers, street address or Social Security/National Identity numbers, without their express authorization and permission.

          Already, these rules have been distorted because in my mind at least, "private and confidential" is something that implies a much stronger sense of privacy than the term "non-public". For instance, could you even call the corporate email address on this NBC business card [google.com] private and confidential? No, right?

          And by the way, I did find the part where Twitter does mention the "n [twitter.com]

      • Hay guyz. Blue Stone's work phone number is 555-XXXX. His boss's work phone number is 555-XXXX. Also his home phone number is 555-XXXX and his address is XXXX.

        Wouldn't it be a shame if everyone tried to call/visit him/his boss/his family to complain about him?

      • How dare you post my work email address?

        Signed,

        F. Last

      • by mjwx (966435)

        first.last@nbcuni.com

        That's the template used by NBC for their CORPORATE emails. Replace "first.last" with the name of any exec and that's the amazingly private super-secret personal details the journalist had his account killed for.

        The NBC executive was called Gary Zenkel.

        This post would be a violation of Twitters TOS!

        The problem with this is that Gary.Zenkel@nbcuni.com goes to his personal assistant(s). A direct email would be something like GZ1324@nbcuni.com. Seeing as it would appear as "Gary Zenkel" to people who have him in their address book (read: anyone who is permitted to mail him directly). Either that or his email address is configured not to accept mail from external sources. This is a basic self preservation measure for high ranking execs who are high priority targets to spammers, scammers and hawkers.

      • So, how many people have retweeted the tweet that got this guys account banned? How many of them have been banned?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      that's the debate if you're wondering.
      if it wasn't public, how did he have it? personal relation? but no need for that since it was published on a blog.
      and it's an email address for a fucking nbc exec, not for some secret agent...

      and why it's a story is that there's moneyflow between olympics, nbc and twitter due to them doing big co-operation around the games.

      and why nbc sucks is that they edited the opening ceremony and showed it time delayed(the reasoning is that americans are too stupid for the un-edited version, basically).

      Personally I think it doesn't matter what type of address it is, we all know that this type of activity os just inciting harassment. Corporations have channels for feedback and you can always continue to rant online, but targeting a single person directly is imo not cool.

    • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:51PM (#40823957) Journal

      and why nbc sucks is that they edited the opening ceremony and showed it time delayed(the reasoning is that americans are too stupid for the un-edited version, basically).

      It wasn't just that. It was the incessant inane commentary when they should have shut their traps and let the image do the talking. It was cutting out some of the best parts. It was spoiling the carefully crafted continuity with a constant bombardment of commercials. It was not knowing/giving a shit who Tim Berners Lee was and leaving it to the audience to google him; how ironic is that?

      All of the people griping about how "bad" the opening ceremony was have two things in common: 1 they're American, and 2 They watched it on NBC.

      I watched it on the BBC's feed and was blown away by it. I was a bit shocked when I started seeing comment threads from yanks complaining about it being "boring", I was wondering if they'd watched the same show as me.

      • by artor3 (1344997)

        All of the people griping about how "bad" the opening ceremony was have two things in common: 1 they're American, and 2 They watched it on NBC.

        It started great, but that entire sequence with the cell phones was absolutely terrible. Since it came towards the end, I think it colored people's views and led them to forget some of the high points.

        And NBC did not leave it to the audience to google Tim Berners Lee. They definitely mentioned him as the inventor of the web. I remember it distinctly, because I was waiting for them to screw up and claim he invented the internet. They never made that mistake, but it appears that Mr. Boyle did, since he ha

        • I remember it distinctly, because I was waiting for them to screw up and claim he invented the internet. They never made that mistake, but it appears that Mr. Boyle did, since he had his lovestruck teens thanking him for their cell phones.

          Cell phones do the web these days...

      • All of the people griping about how "bad" the opening ceremony was have two things in common: 1 they're American, and 2 They watched it on NBC.

        1. I am an American. 2. I never watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I think they are all lame and pathetic. Yes, I griped. But I did not watch it on NBC. Sorry to disappoint you.

      • so i can't watch the opening ceremony: nbc doesn't offer it

        fuck this ridiculous fucking system of intellectual property control

        you just want to smash it to pieces and defy it, on the principal of the thing: if the consumer wants to watch something, and the artist wants you to watch it, and infrastructure exists for you to do so (the Internet), the useless rent-seeking parasites who don't let you watch it are destroying culture and cultural appreciation in the name of a buck, and adding nothing back to the e

      • by Hatta (162192)

        It wasn't boring. It was the goofiest shit I've seen in my life, but it wasn't boring.

    • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)

      and why nbc sucks is that they edited the opening ceremony and showed it time delayed(the reasoning is that americans are too stupid for the un-edited version, basically).

      Perhaps they know their audience? You know, the people who would actually watch the opening ceremony?

  • Enforcing this rule early enough to matter a damn would require a bot...

  • by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:17PM (#40823685) Homepage Journal

    It was a lot simpler to just wipe out the user's account than merely remove the offending Tweet. Because by removing the Tweet, Twitter would themselves have been in violation of their own privacy policies by having tampered with the User's Account and would be enacting censorship -- which is bad. And after all, User Accounts and the data they contain are virtual and have no actual value. Frankly, I wonder why people still use crap like private email and other open messaging services when we have all these wonderful Monolithic Services like Twitter and Facebook to provide all our communication needs.

  • FSCK the olympics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:20PM (#40823713)

    The Olympics take advantage of tax payers by building arenas that never pay off, they don't compensate athletes, the stars of their show, for their hard work and all the while, the IOC gets billions from ads and tv deals.

    The athletes work for no pay, the city builds the stadiums and provides staff and security so what do the IOC spend their $$$ on???

    Its a huge scam, screw them!

    • It really is. There's a LOT of money and corruption behind the Olympics.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:27PM (#40823793) Journal

      The Olympics take advantage of tax payers by building arenas that never pay off, they don't compensate athletes, the stars of their show, for their hard work and all the while, the IOC gets billions from ads and tv deals.

      The athletes work for no pay, the city builds the stadiums and provides staff and security so what do the IOC spend their $$$ on???

      Its a huge scam, screw them!

      It's worse than that, I'm afraid.

      Like a mythological vampire, the Olympics can only come inside if invited(in fact, given the competition each round, you pretty much have to grovel at the IOC's feet to get one). So, if your city finds itself in the unfortunate position of hosting an Olympic event, you are witnessing the end-stage political rot where whoever is in charge has (in the face of considerable competition) to knowingly invite a hugely expensive debacle to town in order to drum up some PR and have an excuse to farm out a bunch of sweetheart contracts on top of whatever part of the city doesn't meet their approval.

      If the Olympics were some sort of outside force, imposed by IOC occupation troopers, it would actually be less pernicious. Alas, it is a parasitic organism that shows up to produce the especially grotesque symptoms of uncontrolled unaccountability in local governance, rather like all those exotic cancers and fungal infections that show up in immunocompromised patients.

      This isn't to say that burning down the IOC would be a bad thing, of course, plenty of blame to go around; but your only real solution involves wheeling in the guillotine at the municipal level...

      • given the competition each round, you pretty much have to grovel at the IOC's feet to get one

        Not always. Los Angeles has hosted the Olympics twice, in '32 and '84. Both times they were the only city offering to host them and both games were profitable for the city. Strange, but true.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126)

        I question the assumption that the Olympics are always bad for the host city. Some have made a good profit off them and some have had a worthwhile and long lasting legacy. Tokyo is a good example. They still use the buildings and the infrastructure upgrades, particularly the push the put up more English language signage and make the city more tourist friendly.

        Just because some people don't get it right doesn't mean you can't. It is far too early to tell how London will do, although you seem to be pretty cer

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The Olympics is using ZFS, no need for fsck.

    • by jonwil (467024)

      I can't find a copy online anywhere but if you have access to ABC Australia iView (the digital catchup service the ABC runs) go watch the first episode of "Gruen Sweat" where they expose the Olympics for what it REALLY is. The Olympics is no longer a sporting contest, the sport has taken a back seat to the marketing and sponsorship.

  • Incidentally... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:21PM (#40823735) Journal

    It is probably worth mentioning that Twitter was/is NBC's 'partner' for coverage of the Olympics... That's sort of a salient detail.

  • bad summary (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Monday July 30, 2012 @06:24PM (#40823771) Homepage Journal

    It's not even clear if posting the email is against their TOS even if it is private... and it isn't private. Their email naming scheme is clear and the full address has been published before.

    This is corporate asshattery.... there isn't any doubt about it to anyone but the poster. NBC and Twitter are partners and they muzzled a critic for a trumped up infraction.

    There hasn't been discussion about it here, but the whole NBC coverage is an idiotic, jingoistic, and technical mess. Read #nbcfail on twitter yourself (I know... slashdotters are too cool for twitter) and you'll see it yourself.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Theaetetus (590071)

      It's not even clear if posting the email is against their TOS even if it is private... and it isn't private. Their email naming scheme is clear and the full address has been published before.

      "Private" doesn't mean "uncrackable". NBC apparently hadn't published it before, so regardless of how simplistic their email naming scheme, the email was still private.

      This is corporate asshattery.... there isn't any doubt about it to anyone but the poster. NBC and Twitter are partners and they muzzled a critic for a trumped up infraction.

      A conspiracy theory like that only makes sense if NBC and Twitter are muzzling other critics... But wait:

      Read #nbcfail on twitter yourself

      Apparently, not only are they not muzzling critics, said criticism is indexed and easily searchable.

      We can argue about the Streisand effect and the wisdom of the account suspension all we want, but to claim that Twitter is engaging in cen

      • You apparently don't understand the weight given to so "journalist" compared to a regular slob like myself. There is a reason why HE got squelched and someone like me didn't. To them one of him is equal to 10,000 of me, give or take.

        Everyone is entitled to your opinion, but I am very tired of people calling something like this a "conspiracy theory." It isn't conspiracy... it was done by one person (or corporation) out in the open. You're using it a slur and as a way to try to make me look bad and nothin

    • It's not even clear if posting the email is against their TOS

      This article claims otherwise, saying it was *not* a violation of their terms of service:

      http://mashable.com/2012/07/30/twitter-journalist-suspended/ [mashable.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    As much as I hate NBC's coverage. I'm not sure how much lip I would take from a guy who is upset that NBC: admitted that they "haven't heard" of Tim Berners-Lee, the Briton who created the internet. (here [independent.co.uk]); Doesn't he know that the internet already has an inventor: Al Gore.

  • by theodp (442580) on Monday July 30, 2012 @07:07PM (#40824081)

    You do not talk about the corporate e-mail addresses of those who partner with Tweet Club.

    • by rossdee (243626)

      So is there a list? (Of people/corporations we are not supposed to tweet about? Of course this list would have to be posted somewhere besides twitter - Wikileaks sounds like the appropriate place)

  • by chicago_scott (458445) on Monday July 30, 2012 @08:31PM (#40824543) Journal

    I just read this story on CNN.com and got pretty discouraged. So, I came to Slashdot to read something interesting and see that this is on the main page.

    Time to turn off the computer and turn on the stereo.

  • In other "news", NBC filed for bankruptcy due to poor ratings, esp. at MSNBC where left-wing, ideological fanatics turned a formerly, well respected, news origination into the propaganda arm of the increasingly socialist, progressive wing of the Democratic party with low ratings that reflect how out of touch that philosophy had become in mainstream USA.
    Film at 11...
  • If it is written on a business card, it isn't "private"...

    It is just another example of how corporations are ruling every aspect of our lives and the rights of the individual are dwindling...

  • ... by preventing us from having to watch that crappy performance twice.

    Oh wait. My TV wasn't even on.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    a home address that you want the mobs to make their way toward, like Spike Lee and Roseanne Barr both did in the Zimmerman case. And there is zero action on Twitter's part. But OMG, tweet some corporate shmuck's business E-mail address and Twitter gives you the boot? What kind of bullshit is that?

  • by theurge14 (820596)

    Set up a VPN to the UK, use the BBC iPlayer to bypass NBC.

    For those less technically inclined (yes even on Slashdot), go over to tunnelbear.com and install. Follow directions, visit BBC iPlayer site again. Bypass NBC.

  • This simply reaffirms why I cancelled my Twitter account years ago. Still struggling to turn off Facebook, but it's more of a news service/photo album than anything else these days.
  • I get this sense that more and more of public communication takes places through channels that can arbitrarily impose their rules, mood or insanity on this communication through what amounts to uncontrolled censorship.

    Of course, you agree to that when you decide to participate (usually also to the ritual slaughtering of your first born when you properly read the T&Cs) but at a certain volume you start wondering if you're not dealing with something that massively impacts the common good without any contr

  • He posted the address, completely wrong I might add, of Zimmerman. Completely wrong people, and that caused them to receive death threats, and they had to move out of their house for a bit.

    Some guy posts an email address that is easy to find and suddenly there is hell to pay. The irony of all this is that Gary Zenkel's email address is being reported by international news agencies now. So much for keeping it private.

C for yourself.

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