Trump’s Twitter account was briefly deactivated Thursday night by a departing Twitter employee, the company said, raising serious questions about the security of a tool the president wields to set major policy agendas, connect with his voter base and lash out at his adversaries.
The company has suspended other high-profile accounts in the past for violating its terms and conditions.
But there has not been a case where an employee has acted alone to take down the account of a well-known person, seemingly on their own.
Trump’s account initially disappeared at around 7 p.m. ET Thursday, with visitors to the page met with the message, “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” For about an hour, the Twitter-sphere joked about the short-lived window of history without @realDonaldTrump.
But then at 8:05 p.m. ET, Twitter posted a statement saying Trump’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,” the statement read. “We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
However, two hours later, Twitter admitted that the deactivation wasn’t an accident at all. A preliminary investigation showed that Trump’s account was taken offline “by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”
Whoever that employee was, they were livin’ the dream.