Patt Morrison for July 31, 2012

Twitter becomes a vehicle for airing Olympic discontent


Twitter's notification that a profile has been suspended

Olympics Day 4 - Gymnastics - Artistic

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A gymnast performs during warmups before the start of the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Team final on Day 4 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 31, 2012 in London, England.

General Electric And Vivendi Come To Tentative Agreement On NBC's Value

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NBC represents U.S. media in covering the London Olympics.

Social Networking And Blogging Website Twitter

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Twitter shuts down user who criticized NBC coverage of the Olympics. The user, a journalist from The Independent, released an NBC executive's email.

twitter bird

New Twitter bird logo released June 6, 2012.

#NBCFail seems to be a popular hashtag (a topic of discussion on Twitter) circulating across Twitterverse. Social media has been a large part in sharing and discussing the London Olympics. Online users have been outspoken about their discontent with NBC’s Olympics media coverage.

NBC had spoiled the victory of Missy Franklin’s gold medal by broadcasting a promo of her interview BEFORE they aired her winning the gold. In an attempt to garner as large an audience as possible, NBC has delayed airing of the Olympics to prime time. The U.S. East Coast has a 3.5-hour delay, while the West Coast has up to 6.5-hour delay.

The Twitterverse ran with the promo spoiler and took to the tweets. Users criticize NBC for their broadcast delay and premature airing of the victory.

To further the Twitter ire, Guy Adams, journalist and Los Angeles bureau chief of The Independent, had his account temporarily suspended for releasing the publicly available email of NBC executive Gary Zenkel.

Adams vocally criticized NBC’s coverage of the Olympics with his Twitter account. NBC filed a complaint that Adams breached privacy policies by releasing the email. However, NBC announced that it was Twitter who first brought it to their attention. With all the media backlash, NBC has now retracted the compliant, and Adam’s account is restored. However, this leaves users wondering if Twitter contradicts their advocacy for free speech on the net.


What do you think of NBC’s media coverage of the Olympics? Have you used Twitter to express your discontent? What are your thoughts on how Twitter and NBC handled Guy Adam’s user account?


Mark Sullivan, senior editor of PC World

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