New Twitter users spike after Olympics journalist gets suspended

Twitter reportedly sees a "silver lining" in the controversy

Last week it seemed like Twitter's luck had run out, with public perception of its Olympics partnership with NBC seemingly soiled by a misstep involving a U.S. journalist's Twitter account.

However, the incident garnered so much press for Twitter that the company's fail whale turned its frown upside down as new users flocked to the social networking service.

The incident involved U.S.-living, U.K.-employed journalist Guy Adams, whose tweets critical of NBC's Olympics coverage climaxed when he spurred his followers to email an NBC executive - and publicly tweeted his email address.

Twitter came under fire when they responded to NBC's subsequent complaint by suspending Adams' Twitter account, but it turns out the micro-blogging platform benefitted from the move as well.

A silver lining

According to a published report, sources described a "silver lining" to the scandalous affair, calling it "a good thing" overall.

Between the Olympics and all the publicity, bad or not, it's no wonder Twitter's user base has grown the past week.

Not to mention the controversy caused when British diver Tom Daley was assaulted via tweet for his Olympics performance's alleged "letting down" of his deceased father.

That incident even caused the offending tweeter to be arrested, though he later apologized.

Is the damage done?

Until now, Twitter has managed to maintain an image as a haven of free speech, refusing to censor its users even during major political and violent conflicts.

"Between the Olympics and all the publicity, bad or not, it's no wonder Twitter's user base has grown the past week."

But apparently they draw the line when a journalist stirs the public into flooding the inbox of a partner company's executive.

Twitter cited their policies regarding individuals' privacy, though it's debatable whether the email address of a publicly traded company's executive should be considered private to begin with.

Twitter hid an apology of sorts in a blog post, though all this talk of silver linings seems to imply that the only lesson the company learned is that there's no such thing as bad press.

Via TechCrunch

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.