‘Rogue’ Twit­ter em­ployee took down ac­count for 11 min­utes

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - WORLD -

A TWIT­TER em­ployee on his or her last day with the com­pany was re­spon­si­ble for tak­ing Don­ald Trump’s ac­count down for 11 min­utes, the so­cial net­work said, an event that did not draw com­ment from the tweet-prone pres­i­dent un­til yesterday.

Vis­i­tors to @re­alDon­aldTrump around 7pm on Thurs­day were greeted with the message, “Sorry, that page doesn’t ex­ist!”

Twit­ter ini­tially said the ac­count had been “in­ad­ver­tently de­ac­ti­vated due to hu­man er­ror”, but later in­di­cated it had been done in­ten­tion­ally by a de­part­ing worker.

Trump did not re­act on Twit­ter to the tem­po­rary re­moval of his ac­count un­til nearly 12 hours later.

“My Twit­ter ac­count was taken down for 11 min­utes by a rogue em­ployee.

“I guess the word must fi­nally be get­ting out – and hav­ing an im­pact,” he tweeted.

The out­spo­ken pres­i­dent has 41.7 mil­lion fol­low­ers on his per­sonal Twit­ter ac­count, which he uses to blast out at­ten­tion-grab­bing com­ments.

The out­age sparked dis­cus­sion on the se­cu­rity of Trump’s ac­count, given the po­ten­tially dire con­se­quences of mes­sages falsely at­trib­uted to the pres­i­dent.

“Through our in­ves­ti­ga­tion we have learned that this was done by a Twit­ter cus­tomer sup­port em­ployee who did this on the em­ployee’s last day,” the so­cial me­dia com­pany said on the of­fi­cial Twit­ter Gov­ern­ment ac­count.

“We are con­duct­ing a full in­ter­nal re­view,” it added.

Blake Houn­shell, the ed­i­tor-in-chief of Politico Mag­a­zine, wrote on Twit­ter: “It is shock­ing that some ran­dom Twit­ter em­ployee could shut down the pres­i­dent’s ac­count. What if they in­stead had tweeted fake mes­sages?

“Se­ri­ously, what if this per­son had tweeted about a fic­tional nuclear strike on North Korea?”

Many praised the tem­po­rary shut­down of Trump’s ac­count, say­ing the un­named em­ployee “de­serves a medal”.

But it drew fire from oth­ers, with one tweet say­ing: “Lib­er­als were cel­e­brat­ing for the 15 min­utes that Trump’s Twit­ter dis­ap­peared, prov­ing once again they love cen­sor­ship and hate free speech.”

Trump’s of­fi­cial White House ac­count, @POTUS, was not af­fected.

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