On Thursday, for 11 blessed minutes, President Donald Trump’s Twitter account disappeared. Did he delete it? Did Twitter (finally, rightfully) ban him? Neither of these explanations turned out to be true.
Twitter initially said the deactivation was caused by an employee “inadvertently,” but it turns out the cause wasn’t human error. One outgoing Twitter worker decided to use the end of their tenure accordingly: by taking down the president’s account.
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— Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
Twitter says it’s investigating what exactly happened, but in its initial response, the service claims the incident was inadvertent.
Trump’s Twitter use can be called controversial at best, and beyond incendiary at worst. The service has repeatedly heard calls for his account to be suspended or banned based on his blatant skirting of the terms of service (i.e., tweeting misinformation and threats, among other things). But Trump is good for Twitter; the site has become his press corps and Americans have come to know it as his bullhorn. It is in Twitter’s best interest to keep the president on the site and using it obsessively.
A temporary shutdown can’t keep the president away from his favorite past time. He quickly began using it after his account was restored, returning to one of his most common topics.
Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017
....This is real collusion and dishonesty. Major violation of Campaign Finance Laws and Money Laundering - where is our Justice Department?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017
This post was updated after publication with new information.