The personal Twitter account of President Donald Trump was briefly deleted on Thursday when an employee of the social networking website deactivated the account, apparently on purpose before leaving the company.
The incident happened just before 7 p.m. ET on Thursday when the account, which has nearly 42 million followers, suddenly disappeared from the service. It instead showed a message that said Trump’s personal account “doesn’t exist.”
The account came back online after about 11 minutes, but not before many users took notice. Trump’s followers were restored after about an hour, although the account appeared to have been removed from so-called Twitter Lists.
Twitter initially said the account was “inadvertently deactivated” as a result of a “human error,” but it later disclosed that the employee responsible was on their final day at work. Specific details about what happened were not immediately released.
“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,” Twitter said in a brief statement. “We are conducting a full internal review.”
Trump frequently uses his personal Twitter account to comment on current events. His opponents have at times called on Twitter to suspend his account, citing a number of apparent violations of the company’s terms of service.
Twitter clarified on September 25 that although it holds all accounts to the same rules, it takes a number of factors into account. “Among the considerations is ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a Tweet is of public interest,” the company said after Trump threatened North Korea in a tweet.
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