The President of the United States of America lost the crucial ability to Tweet for an 11 minute timespan on Thursday (Nov. 2), following the temporary deactivation of his Twitter account by a Twitter employee who was being let go by the company. The incident has raised questions about the safeguards in place for high-profile Twitter users:
This is the way the world ends: not with a bang but a deleted Twitter account. At least, so it appeared for 11 minutes Thursday evening, when visitors to President Trump's personal account, @realDonaldTrump, were informed that there was no such thing.
[...] Amid a presidency that has seemed, at times, to be conducted primarily in 140-character pieces, this was a seismic event — and what was left of Twitter erupted. It was a raucous, modern-day town-square gathering of the sort not seen since ... well, since five months ago, when Mr. Trump coined a new word in the middle of the night.
[...] The answer, revealed three hours later, was something straight out of "Office Space." After saying in an initial statement that the account had been "inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee," Twitter announced that a rogue customer support worker had done it on his or her last day at the company.
Since the implementation of Twitter's new algorithmic timeline back in February of this year, conservatives, libertarians and anti-establishment dissidents alike have been waiting for the social media platform to interfere in the current U.S. election cycle. Now it seems that there is clear evidence of Twitter censoring the current Republican front-runner, Donald Trump.
A tweet sent from Trump's account at 3:04 PM EDT yesterday is not visible from his timeline, even when showing "Tweets and replies." That message included a video wherein Trump declared that "the establishment and special interests are absolutely killing our country."At the time of this writing, the tweet is still publicly accessible via a direct link and thus has not been deleted either by Twitter or by someone operating on the Trump account.
This archive.is link has a copy of the timeline taken before this article was published which clearly shows the tweet not appearing where it should be — between a tweet sent at 12:10 PM EDT and one sent at 3:27 PM EDT; it is possible that the tweet may be reintroduced to the timeline in order to hide the manipulation.
Today it's one Trump tweet, tomorrow it will be you.
If anyone knows how important Twitter is to Donald Trump, it's the president.
“Without the tweets, I wouldn't be here,” he told the Financial Times last month.
To which Twitter's co-founder says: Sorry about that, world.
Evan Williams, who still sits on the company's board of directors, recently told The New York Times that he wants to repair the damage he thinks Twitter and the broader Internet have wrought on society in the form of trolls, cyberbullies, live-streamed violence, fake news and — yes — Trump.
“I thought once everybody could speak freely and exchange information and ideas, the world is automatically going to be a better place,” Williams told the Times. “I was wrong about that.”
“If it’s true that he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, then yeah, I’m sorry,” he said.