A rogue twitter employee who has so far gone unnamed, disabled President Donald Trump’s Twitter account for nearly 11 minutes on Nov. 3, 2017. Around 7 p.m., Twitter users noticed that the very vocal and controversial account seemed to have disappeared. When the President’s account was searched for, Twitter responded with: “@realDonaldTrump does not exist,” causing Trump critics to erupt in applause.
This brief deactivation caused many to stir up wild theories over why the President’s account was deactivated. Had the Russians hacked his account? Did Trump’s advisors step in and intervene to stop the tweets? Had Twitter pulled the plug over criticism and allegations that the tweets of President Trump violated the terms of service of Twitter?
Moments later, however, a Twitter representative responded and said the account was “inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee.” Critics of the President expressed their happiness in droves, all across social media, over the 11 minutes of freedom from Trump’s divisive tweets. Some proposed giving the Twitter employee responsible, a raise. Others said that the person should be in charge of Twitter altogether.
A few hours later at around 9 p.m., a second announcement was released that detailed the actions of a Twitter employee on their last day. “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. We are conducting a full internal review,” Twitter said in an official statement.
Though there appears to be no real damage done, Trump’s account deactivation raises security and privacy questions for those who use the Twitter platform. Is anyone’s account at risk of being deactivated? What level of access do Twitter’s employees have? Is a user’s personal information safe on the platform? One thing is for certain however, there have been far less entertaining ways of leaving a job on the last day.