Great, so now Twitter’s evil too?

Twitter suspended journalist Guy Adams' account after he was critical of NBC’s Olympics coverage – destroying its good guy rep and creating a PR disaster. UPDATE: Twitter has backed down, reinstated Adams, and explains what went wrong (sort of).

By  

According to Twitter, revealing Zenkel’s corporate email address violated Twitter Rules, which state that “posting another person’s private and confidential information is a violation” and lists “non-public, personal email addresses” as one of the examples.

Like the US and UK, Twitter and NBC have a special relationship for these Olympics; Twitter is serving as the “official narrator” for the event online, per the Wall Street Journal. In fact, it was Twitter that notified NBC of Adams’ tweet, not the other way around.

Did Adams violate Zenkel’s privacy by publishing that corporate email address? I asked a passel of my favorite privacy wonks (via Twitter, naturally). The answers were mixed.

Many said, No way, Jose. UX designer and strategist Garrett Cobarr tweeted “No, corporate emails are anonymous not private. Who do consumers write to when they have a broken toaster?”

Jim Adler, chief privacy officer for Intelius, one of the world’s largest data aggregators, said it depends on the site’s privacy policy. If that’s unclear, the address should be treated as private.

Kashmir Hill, author of Forbes’ The Not So Private Parts blog, was in between. The email address was probably not private, she said, but Adams’ inciting people to send hate mail was a bigger privacy violation.

In this case the point may be moot. On that same privacy rules page Twitter also states: 

Keep in mind that although you may consider certain information to be private, not all postings of such information may be a violation of this policy. If information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the Internet prior to being put on Twitter, it is not a violation of this policy.

It didn’t take Netizens long to find an example of Zenker’s email address being published in similar circumstances a year ago, when a group of Christians were incensed after NBC expunged the words “under God” from a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

To recap today’s Twitlympics highlights: 

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Spotlight on ...
Online Training

    Upgrade your skills and earn higher pay

    Readers to share their best tips for maximizing training dollars and getting the most out self-directed learning. Here’s what they said.

     

    Learn more

IT ManagementWhite Papers & Webcasts

See more White Papers | Webcasts

Answers - Powered by ITworld

ITworld Answers helps you solve problems and share expertise. Ask a question or take a crack at answering the new questions below.

Join us:
Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Ask a Question