Twitter says Trump's account deactivated by employee leaving firm

WASHINGTON • US President Donald Trump's @realdonaldtrump Twitter account was deactivated by an employee who was leaving the company and was down for 11 minutes before it was restored, the social media company said.

Mr Trump has 41.7 million followers on Twitter and has made extensive use of it to send messages attacking his opponents and promoting his policies, both during the 2016 presidential campaign and since taking office in January.

"We have learnt 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," the social media company said in a tweet on Thursday. A Twitter representative declined to comment further.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Early yesterday, Mr Trump tweeted about the incident, saying: "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."

Thursday's incident raises a host of questions about how Twitter secures Mr Trump's personal account, the official @potus presidential account and other accounts that could potentially influence world events.

It also comes as technology companies, including Twitter, face sharp attack from US lawmakers for failing to stem the spread of Russian propaganda and misinformation on their platforms.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2017, with the headline 'Twitter says Trump's account deactivated by employee leaving firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe