The Twitter Employee Who Deleted Trump's Account Is Being Hailed as a Hero

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting on November 1. A new poll suggests the Russia collusion probe is not a top priority for Americans. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

On Thursday President Donald Trump's infamous Twitter account, which he has used to shape everything from Department of Defense policy to America's foreign relations with North Korea, disappeared from the social media platform for 11 minutes.

At first Twitter thought it was due to human error, but on further investigation they found it was was an intentional act by an employee on their last day of work.

"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 wrote in a statement Thursday. "We are conducting a full internal review."

Initially, some thought the president had been penalized for violating Twitter's terms of service and policy on hateful conduct because he has bullied groups like the NFL and others through his account.

In the aftermath, some Twitter users branded the as-yet-unnamed employee as a hero.

"Not all heroes wear capes," tweeted out British journalist Oliver Bullough‏, on learning that the account had been deactivated by human error.

"What is the appropriate kind of medal for this[?]" another user tweeted. "Twitter employee nominated for Nobel Peace Prize," joked BuzzFeed journalist Jason Leopold.


— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) November 2, 2017

To whomever deactivated for 11 minutes Donald Trump’s Twitter account on his last day of work: you are my hero. I wanna buy you a beer.

— 218 others (@WincoValvular) November 3, 2017

the twitter employee who deactivated Trump's twitter did more good for the american people than any politician in the last year

— sweet boy (@TherapyDad_) November 3, 2017

But others argued that the social media company has lax security given that the leader of a world superpower's primary communication tool could be easily hijacked to send out any message.

Trump has used the platform to announce important policy shifts, including his July proclamation that he planned to ban transgender people from serving in the military. In September, the president also used Twitter to tell North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un his country "won't be around much longer!" amids rising tensions between the two countries over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program.

Analysts were alarmed that a single rogue Twitter employee could take control of the President of the United State's account. "Amazing. That this could happen to a President's account demonstrates Twitter has poor insider threat controls and indicators," wrote Micah Zenko, a foreign policy and national security analyst and Senior Fellow at the British think tank Chatham House.

Read more: Why did Twitter deactivate President Donald Trump's account?

"What if someone had hijacked the President's Twitter and issued policies for DHS or DOD that the department wasn't aware it had to implement?" wrote Matt Tait, a senior cybersecurity fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security, from his Twitter account.

Tait suggested that the Twitter employee who deleted Trump's account should get an attorney and prepare for charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is often used to prosecute hackers.

Trump responded to the rogue Twitter employee's actions early Friday. "I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact," he tweeted.

My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017

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