Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account was shut down by a Twitter employee on his last day of work. As a result of that, the @realdonaldtrump account was down for about 11 minutes. The company, on Thursday, released an official statement declaring it to be a ‘deliberate action.’
The company didn’t want to reveal the identity of the employee.
It was shortly before 4 pm Pacific time (11 pm GMT) that this incident took place. People found the message “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” on visiting the @realDonaldTrump Twitter page.
The news spread rapidly. Twitter was quick enough to react. Their initial reaction stated that the account had been inadvertently deactivated “due to human error by a Twitter employee”.
Later, there was an official statement from Twitter, “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”.
Soon after that, there was another revelation by the @Twittergov account stating, “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”.
Guardian requested an immediate clarification of the process. Twitter didn’t respond, though.
People have been asking for President Trump’s Twitter account suspension for a while. There were a lot of controversies regarding his threatening Tweets addressing North Korea.
If Twitter officially deletes an account, the profile is marked with the message “account suspended.” It clearly wasn’t the case here.
There were some speculations about Trump deactivating his own account or it being hacked. His poor security standards have been in the headlines before when he continued using his old unsecured Android phone, even after moving into the White House. Usually, the president uses a secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service.
Twitter accounts are suspended by the company if they break certain rules. Like, if they engage in abusive behavior, if they’ve been hacked or if they are fake or promote spam. It has happened on multiple occasions before with the likes of Milo Yiannopoulos and Azealia Banks. Milo Yiannopoulos was accused of his sustained hate campaign against the actor Leslie Jones. Rapper Azealia Banks got banned after he spouted racist venom at the pop singer Zayn Malik.
Trump, who has more than 40 million followers on Twitter is well known for his love of the medium. He was quoted on 2012, “It’s like owning your own newspaper – without the losses”.