Guy Adams is a journalist for The Independent, a British newspaper. His Twitter account was shut down because he tweeted the corporate e-mail address of the president of NBC Olympics and encouraged his followers to contact the executive directly to complain about NBC's awful Olympics coverage, notably the unpopular tape delays. Twitter considered the corporate e-mail address to be "private information" even though it is easily identifiable on-line.
Freedom of speech is a universal human right. As a human being and especially as a journalist, Gary Adams should be free to use Twitter to share his opinion on NBC's coverage of the Olympics. The e-mail address he shared for the NBC executive is the executive's professional e-mail address. NBC is part of a publicly traded company and its executives should be accountable to its shareholders. Additionally, the Olympics itself is a universal event and as the exclusive broadcaster of the Olympics to those living in the United States, NBC has a solemn obligation to provide the best coverage possible to everyone in America. Executives with this sacred trust should be held accountable to the public.
The NBC Olympics' corporate e-mail address is not his personal, private e-mail address. Mr. Adams' encouragement to e-mail complaints to the executive at the executive's corporate e-mail address is akin to encouraging U.S. citizens to contact their representatives of Congress via their professional e-mail addresses. This is a basic, fundamental tenet of freedom of expression.
By suspending Mr. Adams' Twitter account, Twitter has set a dangerous precedent. Twitter must restore Guy Adams' account immediately.