By Duncan Mackay at the Main Press Centre on the Olympic Park in London

NBC London_2012_OlympicsJuly 31 - NBC, who hold the exclusive multi-billion dollar rights to televise the Olympics in the United States, have denied that they are behind the decision by Twitter to suspend the account of a British journalist who has criticised their coveage of London 2012.

Guy Adams, The Independent's Los Angeles correspondent, has beean regularly criticising NBC since they failed to show the Opening Ceremony live last Friday (July 27).

NBC instead aired Danny Boyle's extravagant show during prime time as a "tape-delayed" event, leading Adams to call the network "utter, utter b******s" on his Twitter page.

Adams encouraged his 4,378 Twitter followers to complain to NBC's Olympics President Gary Zenkel with their complaints.

"The man responsible for NBC pretending the Olympics haven't started yet is Gary Zenkel," he wrote.

He then published Zenkel's e-mail address at NBC.

Twitter NBC_criticism_Guy_AdamsGuy Adams' Twitter account criticising NBC's coverage of London 2012 before it was suspended

Following the Tweet, Adams had his account suspended by the social networking site.

Twitter claimed that, in posting the email address, Adams violated their privacy policy.

But Twitter is an official partner of NBC's Olympic coverage and Adams claims that this has influenced their decision.

"It is a violation of the Twitter Rules to post the private and confidential information of others," a representative wrote to Adams in an email, which he forwarded to the Wall Street Journal.

In his response, Adams claimed the address he published was public and available to "anyone with access to Google", which means, according to Twitter's own policy, he has not broken any rules.

"[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," he added.

A spokesman for NBC confirmed that they had protested about Adams posting Zenkel's email address but they were not behind the decision to suspend his account.

"We filed a complaint with Twitter because a user tweeted the personal information of one of our executives," he said.

"According to Twitter, this is a violation of their privacy policy.

"Twitter alone levies discipline."

London 2012 has been widely advertised as the first "social media Olympics".  

But with only four days gone so far Twitter has been at the centre of several controversies with two competitors banned from the Games after using their accounts to make racist comments.

A group of high-profile American athletes sponsored by Nike have also used the site where users are restricted to 140 characters for each message to criticise Rule 40, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) regulation that prevents athletes from advertising for non-Olympic sponsors just before and during the Games.

Writing under the hash tags #wedemandchange and #rule40, the athletes wanted to raise awareness of the restriction, which aims to prevent ambush marketing and protects sponsors of the Olympics, like Adidas, Nike's main rival, who have paid £100 million ($156 million/€128 million) to be a Tier One partner of London 2012.

Meanwhile, the fact so many spectactors watching the men's road cycle road race last Saturday (July 28) were using Twitter to post pictures and comments has been blamed for problems with the television coverage because it blocked the GPS signal.

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