Donald Trump's Twitter account has been deleted. But it's already back up – and unlikely to go down forever.
Twitter said that a disgruntled employee removed the president's account as they left on their last day. The deletion has already led to questions about who has access to the account and those like it, any of which could easily influence foreign events.
"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," Twitter said in a tweet. "We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again," the company said in an earlier tweet.
The account has now been fully restored, even if some strange things are happening – the president's full follower account hasn't been entirely reset, making it look to some like he has lost his 40 million followers.
But despite the clear frustration that Mr Trump is continued allowed to use Twitter among some its staff, and criticism that the president has been using his account and huge following for abuse and other breaches of the site's rules, Twitter is almost certainly not going to officially remove the account permanently. Indeed, it has repeatedly and explicitly said that it isn't intending to do so.
People have repeatedly suggested that the world would be safer if Mr Trump wasn't allowed to use Twitter. Recently, for instance, North Korea said that it considered one of his tweets – which said that the North Korean leadership "won't be around much longer – a "declaration of war" and that as such it could start shooting down US bombers.
But at that time, Twitter said that despite the fact that tweet was a clear danger and a potential flouting of its rules, the president's account would be staying around. It said that it considers a "number of factors" and that one of them is "newsworthiness" – suggesting the tweet will stay up because it is in the "public interest".
"We hold all accounts to the same Rules, and consider a number of factors when assessing whether Tweets violate our Rules," the company wrote in a long tweet thread on its 'Policy' account. "Among the considerations is newsworthiness and whether a Tweet is of public interest.
"This has long been internal policy and we'll soon update our public-facing rules to reflect it. We need to do better on this, and will.
"Twitter is committed to transparency and keeping people informed about what's happening in the world. We'll continue to be guided by these fundamental principles."
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