President Donald Trump Twitter account was removed for 11 minutes on November 2. Twitter initially pinned the blame on a “human error by a Twitter employee.” Later the company said it was a rogue Twitter employee (whom many see as a hero), who scrapped the president’s account.
Trump Twitter account deleted by a rogue employee or a hero?
On Thursday minutes before 7 p.m. Eastern, the Trump Twitter account, which goes by the name @realdonaldtrump, disappeared for a while. After blaming “human error” initially, Twitter later said that an investigation revealed that a customer service employee suspended the account “on the employee’s last day.”
“We are conducting a full internal review,” the social media giant said, noting that they are “taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
Earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.
— Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
In the tech world, Twitter’s statement that it was a rogue employee has raised some concern. The micro-blogging site has never revealed how many employees have access to high-profile accounts like that of President Trump.
A former Twitter employee told BuzzFeed News that many employees could suspend a user’s account, and all it takes is just one click if a person has access to the right tools. The employee also said that there were some discussions in the past about giving special protection to high-profile accounts, but the program was never implemented.
Twitter users went wild after they learned that Trump was no longer on Twitter. While supporters of Trump were outraged by the incident, others were happily surprised.
Is Twitter taking things too lightly?
Trump, who has 41.7 million followers on Twitter, has been using the platform actively for talking about his plans and policies and attacking his opponents.
After Thursday’s outage, Trump’s first tweet was, “Great Tax Cut rollout today. The lobbyists are storming Capitol Hill, but the Republicans will hold strong and do what is right for America!”
Trump tweeted more times after that, but not once did he mention the outage.
The incident marks another stain on Twitter, which along with other social networking sites has been under fire for not doing enough to take down the Russians who posted the politics-related ads during the 2016 election. For a long time, conservatives have accused Silicon Valley of being anti-Trump. The recent deletion of the Trump Twitter account might have just proved that, or it at least gives conservatives a point.
This is not the first time Twitter has made a blunder with a high-profile account. Just last month, the micro-blogging site deleted the account of actress Rose McGowan when she tweeted that film producer Harvey Weinstein had sexually assaulted her. At the time, users thought that Twitter tried to silence McGowan by deleting her account, but later, the company stated that the actress violated the user guidelines.
At the time, Twitter also stated that going forward it will explain those guidelines even better.