President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, briefly vanished from the internet on Thursday.
Social media users noticed that for a short period of time around 7 p.m. EDT Thursday, the page was inaccessible. Given the president’s frequent use of the platform, confusion began to circulate as to why the account might be deleted.
But it was all an employee error, Twitter said about an hour later. It seems that an employee who was leaving the company deleted the account.
“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.”
Earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.
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. We are conducting a full internal review. https://twitter.com/TwitterGov/status/926238960594178048 …
Many of the president’s critics, and even some of his supporters, have decried Trump’s bullying habits on Twitter.
And a number of users criticized Twitter for not suspending the president’s account after he purportedly violated the platform’s user guidelinesover 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.
But Twitter refused to suspend or ban Trump’s account after the incident.
“We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules,” the company said. “Among the considerations is ‘newsworthiness’ and whether a Tweet is of public interest.”
This story has been updated with more information from Twitter.