In the short time since the opening ceremonies of the London Games, we've seen the usual kind of Twitter-related stories--a Swiss soccer player banned for a racist tweet, everybody everywhere voicing their complaints about NBC's mostly abysmal coverage, that kind of thing. But there's some weirder, darker undercurrents going on, with journalists blocked, kids arrested, and free speech on Twitter seeming a much more questionable right than it might have seemed during the Arab Spring.
Twitter and NBC have a substantial deal this year, though they insist it's merely promotional and that no money has changed hands. Still: this morning, British journalist Guy Adams had his Twitter account suspended as a result of a complaint by NBC. (He suggested people email the head of NBC to complain about the coverage, and added a widely-available email address.) Here's where it gets weird: NBC had no idea about this. It was Twitter who alerted NBC and encouraged them to lodge a complaint. Adams has refused to apologize, and since there's nothing journalists love more than talking about the real or assumed suppression of other journalists, the story blew up. It's not clear whether Adams was actually in violation of privacy rules, given that the email address he posted was publicly available.
Wrote Adams: "Either way, [it's] quite worrying that NBC, whose parent company are an Olympic sponsor, are apparently trying (and, in this case, succeeding) in shutting down the Twitter accounts of journalists who are critical of their Olympic coverage."
In other news, a 17-year-old British kid was arrested for, realistically, saying mean things on Twitter. British diver Tom Daley, who's become somewhat of a sensation, failed (along with his synchro diving partner) to medal. In response, that teenager tweeted at Daley, saying he "let [his] dad down," a reference to Daley's father, who passed away this year. Daley replied, calling the teenager an "idiot," which is pretty generous, really, and later, the teenager was detained by police on "suspicion of malicious communication."
Twitter's not responding to requests for comment.
"suspicion of malicious communication." WTF REALLY? Are we living through the Cold War again, pointing fingers at "suspected comminutists"? Malicious Communication, this article assalted my eyes, does that count as Malicious Communication? Geez, don't say what's on your mind. And Daley DID let his Father, and his country down by failing. So what of it? It's the truth isn't it?
Playing Devil's Advocate since 1978
"The only constant in the universe is change"
-Heraclitus of Ephesus 535 BC - 475 BC
What a bunch of invertebrates. If we are lucky all these liberals will end up sterilizing themselves >.>
I don't agree with what's happening but at the same time, the arrest happened on British soil. The British have less freedom of speech than we do in the United States. Again, I don't agree with what happened but resident's should certainly be aware of the local laws. And tourists should at least make an effort to be polite and keep their noses clean if they're going to a foreign country.
Sorry, seems like the detention was reasonable. The statement was in every way malicious and the teenager had no business saying such a thing ... and no, you can't in any way claim that statement to be true ... you are truly nuts if you honestly believe that! Free speech should not be used to protect Internet bullying or anyone trying to heap severe emotional stress directly on another person.
As for the other story, if the TOS was violated, it's a fair action. The only oddity being that Twitter contacted NBC. How is that really odd though if they are in some type of partnership?
Violating a TOS in one thing - being arrested is quite another.
I lived in England in 1990. Ever hear of Speaker's Corner? They say anything and everything there and no-one gets arrested for speaking.
I reject the author's comment that the NBC exec's email address was "widely available." It's not - you've got to hunt for it a bit and, when you find it, it's on another anti-NBC site. I think Twitter was fully compliant with its TOS. And they probably egged on NBC to take action (if that's the case) because they didn't want to get sued by NBC later. No mysteries there.
Wow! We live in a worldwide Idiocracy.
I mean, whats the point in communicating if you don't want to hear what people have to say?
If PopSci did that we would all end up in jail for criticizing their writers.
Thanks for protecting our free speech guys. To all your writers and staff, we appreciate you being true professionals when it comes to taking criticism.
You may write crap at times, but you always keep us entertained.
Most likely it will be those that offend the liberals that are the first to be sterilized.
You know, for your own good, of course.
It was the later alleged death threat that got the Police involved.
you may be right because even some anonimity can make prosecution difficult. I still doubt this Speaker's Corner gave absolute freedom of speech.
what do you think would happen to your account if you personally attacked one of PopSci's journalists? As far as forums or social media are concerned, you do not have any rights that violate their Terms Of Service. They own the site so can decide the limits of what they or their members will tolerate in comments and posts.
Law enforcement is completely different and free speech is an important element of a free society, however if you are going to cause significant emotional harm to someone (or threaten future physical harm), you are potentially breaking laws in various countries. Being an idiot is never a valid defense!
a lot of BS has happened in the name of freedom of speech, one of the colleges near where i live actually allowed skin heads to publish a racist article in their college newspaper because they had to "acknowledge the freedom to speech", then there's examples like this where freedom of speech is withheld by a private organization. one thing we can't forget is that only the government is held accountable for denying the freedom to speech, if a mega corporation decided to silence outcries against them then the government couldn't really do anything besides tell them to stop being dicks.
in the case of the college near me they needed to realize that respecting freedom of speech is fine until that freedom is used to deny other people's freedom. also it's the college's newspaper, if they don't want to publish an article then they shouldn't have to because they're the ones making it. USA today doesn't have this problem.
in the case of the journalist up above, they are a private organization, if they don't want something published, or if they feel that they should deny someone the right to publish on their site then that's their problem. any of this conspiracy BS is simply people being shocked that a service that was used to free people's speech during a revolution was cracking down on people nay saying during a few sports games. if they want to dig their own grave so be it.
as for the kid, good luck.
To mars or bust!
what Clifford explained I'm alarmed that a mother can make $4989 in 1 month on the internet. have you seen this web site fuseurl.com/drv
From The Globe and Mail:
Later, the tweets become more aggressive, such as one that said: “I’m going to find you and I’m going to drown you in the pool ...”
So it's not like the police visited this young man because he was critical of a 'failed' athelete. It was a legitimate death threat that had to be taken care of. Children these days think that because they are behind their screen, they can do what they wish. You have no idea how many times I've run into people who say that the internet should not be monitored at all because "It's just pixils". Well, in that case, speaking is just moving air, so it should carry no weight either, eh? No matter the medium you chose to express your thoughts, they are your own thoughts and if they are unlawful, then you should be prosocuted. (freedom of thought is fine, but freedom of speech is only applicable when it doesn't interfere with others' freedom)
www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/guy-adams-twitter-backs-down-at-last--but-why-did-i-get-banned-7994947.html Guy's version of events.