Sat, Nov 04, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Departing Twitter worker shut down Trump’s account

AFP, WASHINGTON

A Twitter employee on their last day with the company was responsible for taking down US President Donald Trump’s account, the social network said on Thursday, as the president resumed tweeting after the 11-minute outage.

Visitors to @realDonaldTrump at about 7pm 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 was done intentionally by a departing worker.

“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,” it said on the official Twitter Government account. “We are conducting a full internal review.”

The outspoken president has 41.7 million followers on his personal Twitter account, which he uses to blast controversial and attention-grabbing comments, but also to announce decisions.

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

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

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

Many praised the temporary shutdown of Trump’s account, with users saying the unnamed employee responsible “deserves a medal” and that “not all heroes wear capes.”

However, the temporary disappearance of the account — and the glee this prompted among the president’s detractors — drew fire from others.

“Liberals were celebrating for the 15 minutes that Trump’s Twitter disappeared, proving once again they love censorship and hate free speech,” one popular tweet read.

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