Rogue Twitter Employee Briefly Deactivated President Donald Trump's Personal Account

Donald Trump

Much to the delight of some and dismay of others, US President Donald Trump maintains an active presence on Twitter—nary a days goes by that he does not post several tweets, which can range from praising his administration and policies, to blasting the media with accusations of fake news. But for a brief period yesterday evening, the President found himself without access to his favorite social media platform after his account had been deactivated by Twitter.

His account vanished from the Twitterverse at around 6:45 PM Thursday. Visitors to his page saw a message stating, "Sorry, that pages doesn't exist!" It was back online before 7:00 PM the same night, and about an hour later Twitter posted a message blaming the deletion on "human error," confirming that it was done by one of its employees.
The post opened the door to the inevitable barrage of snarky comments, along with those calling for the permanent deletion of President Trump's account. "Please don't... And give that employee a raise," a Twitter user replied. Another one wrote, "Next time leave it down as it's violated your ToS like 500,000 times." And yet another praised Twitter for having won the Internet.

There really was not anything unusual about the comments—President's Trump's own posts oftentimes receive replies from his critics. The advent of social media has shined a light on the divisive nature of politics, and this country, particularly with a President that was able to leverage one of the biggest social media platforms to reach his audience. And in fact it turned out not to be human error that caused President Trump's account to go offline, but a rogue employee basically saying 'Screw it!' on his last day of employment.
It is not clear yet exactly who was responsible. Many employees at Twitter have the power to suspend a user's account, and that has happened to high-profile individuals in the past. But comparatively few have the authority to deactivate a Twitter account, which is what happened in this case.

President Trump has over 41.7 million followers and has tweeted more than 36,000 times since March 2009, using his personal account. It has served as an important platform during his presidential campaign. Perhaps he will slip up someday and post something that causes his account to be intentionally suspended or deactivated, but in this case, it was the act of an outgoing employee.