On Tuesday, Adams received an e-mail from Twitter that read, “We have just received an updated notice from the complainant retracting the original request. Therefore, your account has been unsuspended, and no further action is required from you at this time.” Adams’ article in The Independent provides detailed commentary on the events between the journalist’s account suspension and reinstatement.
Although Twitter’s Guidelines & Best Practices state that its Trust and Safety Team investigates all reports from users who contact Twitter stating their personally-identifiable private information has been shared on Twitter, these policies were not exactly followed with Adams’ Tweet containing Zenkel’s e-mail. Twitter’s own policies state that they do not monitor Tweets for policy violations and instead, users must file a complaint in order to have an offending user’s account investigated. However, Twitter has confirmed that one of its departments brought Adams’ Tweet to NBC’s attention. In a Tuesday blog post, Twitter’s general counsel Alex Macgillivray wrote, “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, as has now been reported publicly.”
Adams’ experience with Twitter account suspension and reinstatement has brought to light the policy-bending power of the relationship between NBC and Twitter during the 2012 London Olympics. Although most Twitter users have no issue placing their trust in the social media platform, Adams, those familiar with his story, and users who have been adversely affected by malicious or harassing Tweets may think twice about how potential privacy and policy violations are handled by Twitter.