President Donald Trump’s Twitter page was deactivated earlier today and people across the Internet rejoiced. Then the page was reactivated 11 minutes later, dashing hopes that it was a permanent decision on Twitter’s part. Why the brief downtime? Twitter has just issued a statement, saying that some Twitter worker ‘inadvertently’ deactivated the account.
People have been calling on Twitter to suspend Trump’s account for a long while, the reasons for which vary but include claims of terms violations and bullying. Others don’t want Twitter to force him off the service, but are calling on the White House to reign in what they view as Trump’s very unprofessional behavior on the service.
Perhaps whomever ‘inadvertently’ deactivated the account fell into one of those groups, or maybe it was truly an accident. Twitter didn’t launch into an explanation about how such an accident could take place, but did say that it is working on ensuring that such future mistakes don’t happen again.
The procedure for how someone would go about deactivating a Twitter account isn’t known, and so it is hard to say how many steps were involved in this ‘accident,’ nor what role the employee was working in that gave them access to this suspension power.
Many believe — though can’t officially confirm, mind — that a rogue employee took matters into their own hands and took down the page without permission. As for Trump, he’s back to tweeting and hasn’t missed a beat since the account went down. Oddly enough, given how much he likes to tweet, he hasn’t posted anything about the deactivation.
UPDATE: Twitter has just confirmed that the incident wasn’t exactly an accident and was intentionally done by a customer support employee on his or her last day of work. While amusing out of context, it does raise questions about how much control employees have over Twitter operations if a customer support personnel was able to easily take down an account just like that.