The online world stood still late on Thursday night when Donald Trump’s Twitter account vanished into thin air.
Social media users noticed that for a short period of time around 11pm British time @realDonaldTrump – arguably the world’s most infamous handle – was no more.
Of course, this is the platform where Trump takes care of business. His megaphone. His oxygen.
Many of the president’s critics, and even some of his supporters, have decried Trump’s Twitter habits.
And a number of people criticised Twitter for not suspending the president’s account after he purportedly violated the platform’s user guidelines over what some called a clear threat of violence.
In one tweet, the president threatened that North Korea “won’t be around much longer” if the country’s leadership allowed hostile rhetoric against the United States to continue. North Korea’s government called it a declaration of war.
So most enjoyed the break, however brief.
The account swiftly returned and normal order – such as it is – was restored. But nature abhors a vacuum, and with no explanation ‘why?’, people started to devise there own theories.
An hour later, Twitter ’fessed up. It was all “a human error” and the outage was a full 11 minutes.
But later still came a more thorough explanation.
It seems that an employee who was leaving the company deleted the account on their last day.
“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,” the company explained. “We are conducting a full internal review.”