Twitter was accused of reporting a critical journalist to one of its corporate sponsors today, following the suspension of his account.
Guy Adams, the Independent's Los Angeles correspondent, lost access to the site after he criticised NBC's coverage of the Olympics in the US, where the opening ceremony was shown hours after the rest of the world so it could maximise advertising revenue.
Adams, who had toured radio stations and tweeted extensively about the state of the coverage, had presumed NBC had alerted Twitter to his account. But Christopher McCloskey, NBC spokesman, said it was the social media site which referred him to NBC.
"Unless he is lying, this means that my account was suspended after Twitter decided, at its own behest, to get in touch with a commercial partner in order to encourage them to have a hostile journalist removed from the Twitter-sphere," the journalist wrote to the social media site.
"Surely this runs against everything your company is supposed to represent? And surely it completely undermines Twitter's entire raison d'etre, corporate ethos, etc?"
Adams insists the email address he included was corporate, structured in the default manner of all employees of NBC and publicly available online.
The case raises important questions about Twitter's ability to stick to its business ethos as it tries to make itself profitable under corporate sponsorship of major cultural and sporting events.
The social media site has previously contested many government fishing expeditions for information about users, but some critics are concerned it may be less resilient when dealing with corporate sponsors.