Trump's 11-Minute Twitter Outage Raises Broader Security Questions


The issue with Mr Trump's Twitter account could not seemingly have come at a more inopportune time for the company, with all of Twitter, Google and Facebook all facing hearings in the US Congress about the Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Through our investigation we have learned that this [the deactivation of Trump's Twitter] was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee's last day.

"We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again", Twitter said via its Twitter Government account.

"Social media companies have always operated on the basis that mistakes will always happen with a live, open network and can be corrected after the event in a timely and transparent way", he said.

He responded to the incident with a tweet: "My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee". It has declined further explanation, raising questions not only about its own security measures but on Trump's heavy reliance on a single platform to broadcast his views.

Reuters could not determine how many Twitter employees had the authority to delete accounts or if any had the ability to tamper with them in other ways, such as by sending bogus tweets. That employee has not been named and it's not clear what kind of access he or she had to the president's account. Conservatives have complained about Twitter's seemingly targeted deletion of right wing, pro-Trump accounts.

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The company updated its rules Friday, clarifying that the context of tweets - including whether the content is "newsworthy" - is key for deciding what abusive behavior is and how to deal with it. Twitter said it would provide more detail on these policies later this month.

A source told BuzzFeed that hundreds of Twitter employees have access to high-profile accounts and have the power to deactivate one.

Another person familiar with Twitter operations, speaking on condition of anonymity, said employees now can not post from a user's account, change or even view a user's password, which is encrypted.

While it was unclear what the former employee's motive was, Mr Trump's Twitter account regularly generates controversy and offends some people as the President lashes out at his perceived enemies. "I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact", Trump tweeted on Friday.

The fact that U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter account was deactivated by a rogue employee has raised questions about how much access and control Twitter Inc.'s workforce has over an individual user's account.

Twitter has struggled in recent months in how it enforces, and explains, its procedures for managing accounts that violate its policies created to prevent hate, harassment and other abuse of the platform.