Twitter employee uses last day in the job to deactivate Trump's account

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Donald Trump
US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign roundtable event in Manchester, New Hampshire, US, October 28, 2016. Reuters/Carlo Allegri

US President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was down for 11 minutes on Thursday. A Twitter customer support employee had used his last day of work to deactivate the POTUS’ personal social media account.

It was initially said that Trump’s Twitter account was "inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee." But on its second statement, the company said it was done by a customer support 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 statement reads, adding that Twitter is conducting a full internal review.

In its statement, Twitter confirmed that the account was down for 11 minutes and has since been restored. The company assured it is taking steps to prevent this from happening again. Information on the identity of the Twitter employee was not immediately available.

During the brief downtime, going to @realDonaldTrump Twitter page would generate the message, “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!” There was widespread speculation about what happened to the account.

Some netizens speculated that Trump deactivated it. Others thought it may have been hacked. The president supposedly continued to use an old, unsecured Android phone when he moved into the White House.

Trump is known for his love of social media. He has more than 40 million Twitter followers.

There have been calls to suspend the president’s account, notably when he made comments about North Korea. He also posted a video in which he was shown punching a person whose head bears the CNN logo. Some thought the post violated Twitter’s policies against violent threats.

Twitter’s rules permit the company to suspend accounts for violent threats, gender-based attacks and other forms of abuse and harassment. The company would not, however, close Trump’s account as it was deemed "newsworthy" and in the public interest.

Family Online Safety Institute founder Stephen Balkam said the fact that the social media platform has not closed Trump’s account appears to be “a violation of Twitter’s own rules.” Balkam said, according to Bloomberg, "If an ordinary citizen tweeted some of what he tweeted, I would think some of them would be taken down." The company has suspended high-profile individuals in the past, including rightwing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos after his hate campaign against actor Leslie Jones.