Twitter admits it flagged UK journalist’s account
Twitter has admitted it instigated the controversy that culminated in a UK journalist being kicked off the social network for criticising NBC’s television coverage of the Olympics.
Guy Adams, The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, posted a series of tweets that pilloried the network’s delayed coverage and included an executive’s email address, suggesting people should complain.
Although Twitter stood by the decision to guard email addresses, it admitted it made mistakes in tipping off NBC and then processing Adams’ tweets as if they had been reported by an irate end user.
We cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is — whether a business partner, celebrity or friend
“We want to apologise for the part of this story that we did mess up,” said Alex Macgillivray, Twitter’s general counsel, in a blog post.
“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. Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other.”
The company said the account had since been reinstated and that it had learned a lesson from the outcry over its behaviour.
“We do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are. This behaviour is not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us,” Macgillivray said.
“We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is — whether a business partner, celebrity or friend.”