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Volume 10 No. 25
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Twitter Bans British Journalist; Footballer In Trouble Over Tweet

Twitter has suspended the account of the London Independent's Guy Adams following a tweet that urged his followers to complain about NBC's tape-delayed coverage and included the email address of NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel. NBC Sports today issued a statement that read, "We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives. According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy. Twitter alone levies discipline" (THE DAILY). In London, Ed Pilkington reported the Independent's Deputy Editor Archie Bland confirmed the account "disappeared," and called it "heavy-handed." Adams published a tweet that included the email address of  Zenkel, "encouraging his followers to contact Zenkel to complain about the TV network's delayed broadcast of the Opening Ceremony." Some of Adams' tweets "fall in the camp of caustic criticism." He tweeted: "I have 1000 channels on my TV. Not one will be showing the Olympics opening ceremony live. Because NBC are utter, utter bastards." Suspicions that Twitter had "overreached itself and strayed into censorship were heightened" by the social media platform's deal with NBCUniversal top be the official narrator of liven events at the Olympics (GUARDIAN, 7/30).

: Meanwhile, the AP reported Swiss footballer Michel Morganella faces expulsion from the London Games "for allegedly sending a racist message on Twitter" (AP, 7/31). In Sydney, Darren Davidson wrote it is "only day three of the Olympics, yet Twitter already has played a key role in some of the biggest stories in London" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 7/30).

MAKING A POINT: REUTERS' Nick Mulvenney noted several U.S. track and field athletes are in Twitter protest over restrictions on the promotion of sponsors, and runner Sanya Richards-Ross said that it aims to help peers "who struggle financially to stay in the sport." The tweets targeted Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, which forbids athletes from taking part in advertising for anyone except official sponsors during the Games. Richards-Ross said, "People see the Olympic Games, when athletes are at their best, but they don't see the three or four years before when many of my peers are struggling to stay in the sport." She added, "The majority of track and field athletes don't have sponsors. In the sport, a lot of my peers have second and third jobs to be able to do this. We understand that the IOC is protecting its sponsors, but we want to have a voice as well." Richards-Ross: "Only 2% of U.S. athletes are able to tweet about their sponsors because only 2% of athletes have USOC or IOC sponsors." IOC spokesperson Mark Adams said that the ban was only for one month every four years, arguing Rule 40 was "entirely the right thing to do" as it supported less privileged athletes who depended on the IOC for cash (REUTERS, 7/30).