President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, @realdonaldtrump, disappeared from the site for around 11 beautiful minutes shortly before 7PM ET. It was not initially clear what happened to the account, and Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a series of tweets issued by Twitter’s Government and Elections team, the company first blamed “human error,” then attributed the move on a rogue employee who used their last day on the job to boot the president off the service.
Critics have questioned the basic security of Trump’s account, noting that he continues to tweet from an Android phone that may be vulnerable to hacking. My former colleague Adrianne Jeffries suggested the account may have been hacked:
Seems like a hacker or an inside job? Restored almost immediately by Twitter HQ. If it had been suspended it would have said suspended.
— Adrianne Jeffries (@adrjeffries) November 2, 2017
Yet it was not a hack, but the work of a lone Twitter employee supposedly with the power to deactivate individual accounts at will, even those managed by hot-tempered heads of state.