A Twitter employee deactivated President Trump’s account for 11 minutes Thursday night, raising new questions about the security of the social media platform.
Twitter initially blamed the deactivation on “human error,” but revealed two hours later that Trump’s account was intentionally shut down by an outgoing employee on their last day.
The outage occurred shortly before 7 p.m. ET on November 2, when Trump’s Twitter account showed the error message, “the user does not exist.” The account was reactivated at 7:03, following an 11-minute outage.
Twitter officials said it will investigate the matter, presumably to ensure this type of security failure doesn’t happen again.
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. https://t.co/mlarOgiaRF
— TwitterGov (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
While many mainstream media outlets like CNN found the incident amusing, the shutdown of the Twitter account of the leader of the free world had many wondering why Twitter does not police itself more rigorously.
What if a disgruntled employee had sent tweets using President Trump’s account to declare war on some random nation, or to brag that the United States had bombed North Korea? The fallout from such a “Twitter prank” could be catastrophic.
Twitter’s shutdown of Trump’s account comes days after the company admitted that it had buried almost 50% of tweets referencing leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee and from Hillary Clinton‘s campaign chairman John Podesta.
Twitter hid 48% of tweets with the #DNCLeak hashtag and 25% of tweets with #PodestaEmails, Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett revealed in written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee this week:
Approximately one quarter (25%) of [#PodestaEmails tweets] received internal tags from our automation detection systems that hid them from searches.
Our systems detected and hid just under half (48%) of the Tweets relating to variants of another notable hashtag, #DNCLeak, which concerned the disclosure of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee.
While Twitter claims it’s trying to stem bullying on its platform, many conservatives noted that the social-media giant routinely bans conservatives, but ignores the daily death threats against President Trump and other non-liberal personalities.
On Friday morning, President Trump seemed to agree that his account was shut down in an effort to silence him. “My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee,” he tweeted. “I guess the word must finally be getting out — and having an impact.”
Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of BizPac Review.
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