Donald Trump's Twitter account deleted: What happened when the president disappeared from his favourite social network

The president's followers still haven't been entirely restored

Andrew Griffin
Friday 03 November 2017 08:41
Departing Twitter employee deactivates Donald Trump's account

It was 11 minutes that shook and delighted the world, and has at once embarrassed and presumably irritated Donald Trump.

But it didn't involve nuclear weapons or diplomacy. It was something that might be much more important to the president: his Twitter account.

As the working day was coming to a close on Thursday, a rogue employee on their last day deleted Mr Trump's Twitter account. Anyone heading to the realDonaldTrump account was greeted by the default Twitter page and told that account didn't exist.

Some 11 minutes later, his account was restored, the same as it was before. But those 11 minutes of silence have been heard around the world.

They delighted those that oppose Mr Trump, and his Twitter account, which is often accused of being a dangerous tool. And they upset Mr Trump's supporters, who accused those who were pleased with deletion of going against free speech.

The account still isn't entirely fixed – for some people, he still doesn't have any of his over 40 million followers, and they seem to gradually being added back to the account. That's presumably because Twitter is working to restore the handle to normal.

Here's the detailed timeline of what happened when the president – briefly – was disappeared off his favourite social media platform:

Around 7pm in New York: Mr Trump's Twitter account disappears. People quickly notice and post screenshots, but there's no explanation of what happened – leading some to believe that service might never be restored.

A Twitter employee inadvertently deleted the US President's account

11 minutes later: The account re-appears, with no immediate explanation.

Around 8pm: Twitter finally addresses the problem, apparently after taking the time to find out what exactly had happened. "Earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee," it writes. "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."

Around 10pm: After further investigation, Twitter finds out more about how the account was able to disappear – and the fact that it had apparently happened because of a disgruntled employee. "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 Twitter Government account posts. "We are conducting a full internal review."

The morning after: Mr Trump's Twitter account is still behaving bizarrely. Apparently because the account is still being restored by Twitter, he didn't get his 41 million followers back straight away – meaning that he showed to some people as only having a few fans. That and other strange results of the deletion are still being fixed.

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