For a brief time on Thursday evening, the world saw what life would be like without Donald Trump being on Twitter.
The U.S President’s prolific @realDonaldTrump account disappeared for 11 minutes.
We’ll all remember where we were during the 10 minutes of peace while Donald Trump’s Twitter account was down.— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) November 2, 2017
Anyone trying to access it was given an error message saying the user “does not exist.”
Fellow tweeters wondered if the leader of the free world had been hacked or banned by the social-media giant.
Willing to bet a six pack it was an inside job, rogue employee who wanted to shut him down— ᴅᴇʀᴇᴋ ᴍᴇᴀᴅ (@derektmead) November 2, 2017
At first Twitter said that it was just “human error.”
realdonaldtrump</a>’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. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.</p>— Twitter Government (TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
But later, they revealed that one of their employees on the last day of their job deactivated the 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
Trump was soon back on Twitter after his brief time-out, but didn’t immediately comment on his short social media blackout.
There have been continuing calls for Twitter to suspend Trump’s account, particularly when he made threats to North Korea and most recently on Thursday by reiterating his view that the terror suspect in custody over the New York truck attack should get the death penalty.
…There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATHPENALTY!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 2, 2017
However, Twitter normally does this by marking the profile with the message “account suspended”.
Before Twitter’s statement, some speculated that Trump himself may have deactivated his account.
He has been criticized in the past for having poor security standards, continuing to use an old, unsecured Android phone when he moved into the White House instead of trading it for a secure, encrypted device approved by the Secret Service.