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Twitter apologizes for Guy Adams 'mess-up'

Following debacle surrounding the suspension of journalist Guy Adams' account, the micro-blogging service says it made a mistake.

Guy Adams (Credit: The Independent)

After restoring the suspended account of journalist Guy Adams this morning, Twitter issued an apology for its "mess-up," and says it will never do it again, the company wrote in a blog post.

"As I stated earlier, we do not proactively report or remove content on behalf of other users no matter who they are," according to the post. "This behavior is not acceptable and undermines the trust our users have in us. We should not and cannot be in the business of proactively monitoring and flagging content, no matter who the user is -- whether a business partner, celebrity or friend. As of earlier today, the account has been unsuspended, and we will actively work to ensure this does not happen again."

Twitter suspended Adams' account after he tweeted the corporate e-mail address of an NBC executive. Adams, who works for The Independent, has been critical of NBC's coverage of the Olympics, and his suspension led to much discussion about Twitter's actions. The micro-blogging company flagged Adams' account after seeing the tweet and informed NBC that they should file an official request to have it removed.

"We've seen a lot of commentary about whether we should have considered a corporate e-mail address to be private information. There are many individuals who may use their work email address for a variety of personal reasons -- and they may not. Our Trust and Safety team does not have insight into the use of every user's email address, and we need a policy that we can implement across all of our users in every instance," the blog post reads.

"That said, we want to apologize for the part of this story that we did mess up. 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. Our Trust and Safety team did not know that part of the story and acted on the report as they would any other."

Twitter also reiterated how its privacy policy works: Twitter will suspend an account if it has posted private information. After receiving a report, the "Trust and Safety" team investigates and determines if the account has violated Twitter's guidelines before suspending the account. Once the account is suspended, Twitter will ask the account user to confirm that they understand the private information policy and agree to the Twitter terms of service. Once the user confirms via e-mail that he or she understands, the account is unsuspended. The account can also be unsuspended if the person who filed the complaint rescinds it.

Despite these guidelines, Adams has vented that he couldn't reach anyone at Twitter even via e-mail.