Twitter Temporarily Suspends President Trump's Personal Account

Mandy Carr
November 4, 2017

In a similar incident last November, Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey's account was briefly suspended as a result of what he said was an internal mistake.

In a statement, the company said Trump's account was "inadvertently disabled due to a human error" committed by one of its employees.

And while the former employee still hasn't stepped forward or been named, The New York Times reported Friday that the person was not full time and was a customer support contractor at Twitter. "We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again", the tweet said.

The tech giant stopped there, saying "we won't be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it". Trump says the service allows him to get his message out to his supporters without the filter of the media, but it's also allowed him to circumvent his own staff.

"My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee", he wrote.

While the momentary outage led to a moment of frenzy and - for some - jubilation over Trump's absence on Twitter, there are serious questions being asked about what a bigger hack could do. "I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact", Trump tweeted on Friday. The newspaper added: Twitter customer support cannot, however, access customers' private direct messages, nor can they tweet on behalf of other users.

"[If] a temp/contractor can shut down Trump's Twitter acct, what happens when someone hijacks it & "announces" ICBMs headed for North Korea?" "The tweets speak for themselves", is a common refrain from staff unable or unwilling to explain the president's comments.

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What basically amounted to a public threat made against a world leader who has been very open about the prospect of aiming nuclear missiles at the United States was not something that Twitter was willing to take down.

Trump was back on Twitter soon after the account was restored, and the employee did not send or alter any tweets.

Sean Edgett, Twitter's general counsel, told the U.S. Senate in a recent hearing that the platform has hid tweets containing hashtags that were unfriendly to Clinton from searches.

Facebook, Twitter and other companies outsource content review to third-party services like ProUnlimited and Cognizant, which are essentially internet call centers staffed with hundreds of workers who deal with customer service issues.

The site reserves the power to suspend or permanently shut down accounts.

It is unknown how many Twitter employees have the authority to delete accounts or tamper with them in other ways, such as sending bogus tweets, Reuters reported.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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