When does censorship on social media sites go too far? Should people be able to speak freely online, within reason, without fear of repercussions? The Giving Card shares their view on censorship on social media sites in light of Twitter suspending Guy Adams' Twitter account.
According to the Guardian, a journalist was suspended from Twitter for publicly criticising NBC on Twitter this week. Journalist Guy Adams tweeted a number of posts criticising NBC’s coverage of the games, especially the fact that the games were not being covered live, but instead being broadcasted on a six hour delay, with advertisements included. The Giving Card; being a company who uses social media to engage and interact with our audience, feels that freedom of speech on social media platforms such as Twitter is important. Social media is now an important way in which businesses communicate with their audience to encourage loyalty and gain an understanding of what the customer wants. Without that freedom of speech on social media platforms, business to customer relations would suffer, and this story is a prime example of that.
Twitter claimed that journalist Guy Adams had tweeted a personal email address belonging to Gary Zentel; NBC’s executive and this was the reason that his account was suspended. According to Twitter, this breaks its privacy rules; which state you cannot tweet material that is non-public and personal. However, Adams insists that the email address has been previously published online and was easily available to anyone with an internet connection, thus not breaking any rules.
There are suggestions that NBC and Twitter are in a commercial relationship and this could be the reason for twitter’s overzealous reaction. NBC and Twitter are experiencing a backlash; #Twitterfail and #NBCfail were trending on twitter earlier this week as the social media community expressed their outrage at Adam’s suspension. Some tweeters even went so far as saying, that until Adam’s Twitter account was reinstated they would boycott Twitter.
This happened in the same week as a 17 year old boy was arrested for making threatening comments on Tom Daley’s Twitter. We are all aware that freedom of speech and expression are not without limitations, which in Tom Daley’s account may be justified, but has Twitter taken these limitations a step too far. Surely business relationships should not interfere or dictate what can and cannot be posted on a social media platform; the purpose of which is to give people a platform to share their opinions with others all over the world.
Guy Adams is demanding that Twitter explain exactly how he was in breach of the rules, which resulted in his Twitter account being suspended. In the meantime, the whole situation has become a bit of a controversy. Suspending Guy Adams’ account led to more focus and criticism of NBC, criticism of Twitter, as well as thousands of people ending up in possession of Gary Zentel’s email address. The question now is whether or not Twitter will reinstate Guy Adams’ Twitter account, and if not, what will happen to all those others who followed suit and also tweeted Gary Zentel’s email address?
How far is too far when it comes to freedom of expression? Do you agree with Twitter and NBC or do you think that social media should remain a place where freedom of speech should be allowed and encouraged, within reason?