‘Rogue’ Twitter employee took down account for 11 minutes
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.