back to article Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

For a few minutes on Thursday afternoon, Pacific Time, the Twitter account of US President Donald J. Trump ceased to exist – sensationally deleted by a Twitter worker on their last day of work, we're told. The absence of such a distinctive, dare we say divisive, social media voice was immediately noticed, and welcomed by some …

Anonymous Coward

Fake news

Sad!

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Re: Fake news

Why is it fake news when a lot of people seem to have seen it happen (not me - see below)?

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Trollface

Re: Fake news

The number of people who saw it happen is irrelevant to the fakeness of the news.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Fake news

I'm not sure you get this "fake news" they haven't blamed Iran.

Yet...

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Unhappy

Re: Fake news

I really hate this "fake news" moniker. It was previously good enough to use the traditional terms "hoax", "inaccurate", "false" etc. All it does is comment on the man's vocabulary and the plethora of sycophants in this world.

I don't tweet (since I'm not a twit) and don't know the rules, but I regularly see quoted hate from this man that surely must be breaking them. This ex-employee appears to have been the only person with the cajones to apply the rules to this "fake president" (Trump certainly doesn't act like a real one).

It is a shame his parents didn't call him Iggy Donald Ian Oliver Trump to make it easier for the world to stop taking notice of his rantings.

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WTF?

Re: Fake news

If a single Twitter employee, just one, can delete the account of a public figure with 41M followers with no checks and balances...

Someone like Trump has the visibility to get his account restored. What about a Twitter employee that deletes your account because he doesn't like your position on Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

Seems like something at Twitter is clearly broken and needs to be fixed.

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Re: Fake news

No, what's broken is the idea of using a single communications channel that you have absolutely no control over to handle your PR. This is why PR is more normally handled by services like a news agency or press conference where a multitude of outlets get to know what you tell them.

Twitter's absolutely within their rights- and indeed responsibilities in many localities- to remove accounts without their registered user's permission.

It's not YOUR account. It's /their/ network and /their/ account, which you use with /their/ permission. People seem to forget that.

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WTF?

Re: Fake news

I suspect you missed the point of the post?

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Re: Fake news

@ Adam Foxton. You're confusing two issues though. Sure, the POTUS probably shouldn't be using Twitter the way he does (of course, it's not his only communication channel), and sure, you're merely hitching a ride on their platform, so you're never going to be in control.

But regardless of who's account was deleted, Twitter shouldn't have it so a CS employee can unilaterally delete *anyone's* account under any circumstances. There should be something like a two-step process that requires a supervisor's approval. Having the process so lax is just leaving it open to abuse - and such abuse is a security and reputational risk that needs to be mitigated against.

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Re: Fake news

If a single Twitter employee, just one, can delete the account of a public figure with 41M followers with no checks and balances...

Someone like Trump has the visibility to get his account restored. What about a Twitter employee that deletes your account because he doesn't like your position on Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

1 - if he has those rights, he was probably part of the policy enforcement team

2 - I don't even think they can do something to that employee in court, because all he did was his job - Trump's account has been WAY over the bar they have set themselves from even before he became President..

Seems like something at Twitter is clearly broken and needs to be fixed.

The very concept of Twitter is broken as it allows broadcasting of all sorts of trash to a mass audience. That's why the Senate started talking about broadcast licenses for Twitter, Google and Facebook..

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Re: Fake news

@Monty Cantsin "There should be something like a two-step process that requires a supervisor's approval"

So what about when the person doing it IS the supervisor? Should they get their boss to approve it? But wait who says that their boss is allowed to approve it? Better get their boss involved too....

You can't have all destructive decisions in an organisation by any person require the approval of their supervisor, because that just becomes a chain reaction eventually requiring the CEO to make every decision.

As someone else pointed out, the fact that they could do this likely means they were on the policy enforcement team. This is their job.

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Re: Fake news

"Twitter shouldn't have it so a CS employee can unilaterally delete *anyone's* account under any circumstances. There should be something like a two-step process that requires a supervisor's approval."

Maybe a whole lot of them got together to do it and then blamed someone who was leaving.

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Re: Fake news

Re: There should be something like a two-step process that requires a supervisor's approval.

There probably is a multistep procedure, which is why the account was only offline for a few minutes. However, it would still fall on a single employee to initially mark an account for deletion and thus start the process.

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Re: Fake news

Twitter's absolutely within their rights- and indeed responsibilities in many localities- to remove accounts without their registered user's permission. It's not YOUR account. It's /their/ network and /their/ account, which you use with /their/ permission. People seem to forget that.

What? Nobody forgets that. Has anyone suggested that Twitter doesn't have the right to delete its own data (user accounts) ?

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Re: Fake news

It seems (I don't follow Trump and can't be bothered accessing his stream) that the account was not deleted, it was taken down, so all posts not deleted by the man himself were still there when it went back up. Taking an account down is something they need to be able to do fast when they get a complaint about a channel or find abuse prior to investigating (because terror wrists). So the review process (if any) would come after that.

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Re: Fake news

I dunno about fake news. How about no news.

An 11 minute outage on a twitter account? Can't get excited.

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Re: Fake news

Seems like Twitter is clearly broken and needs to die.

FTFY

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tfb

Re: Fake news

Why should they not? Twitter is not a human right.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Re: Fake news

The White House used to have some sort of web page of their own didn't they? One would think that the Most Chosen Nation would have a mandated communication channel where they could convey unambiguous coherent statements and policy, but I guess that's just crazy talk...

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JLV
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Re: Fake news

Yup, another missed Schicklgruber*

moment.

* Nope, not calling Blowhard a N*** here, which is just as overblown an exageration as his ego, just appreciative of the power of names.

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JLV
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Re: Fake news

>There should be something like a two-step process

Call me old-fashioned, but I think you are taking Twitter _way_ too seriously.

Of course, that is also the case with Trump - the whole idea of basing a major part of POTUSs communication strategy* on Twitter has a certain comic opera feel to it, doesn't it?

* I use that word loosely with Trump.

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Re: It was previously good enough to use the traditional terms "hoax", "inaccurate", "false" etc.

But "Fake News" doesn't mean those things. It means "reported stuff that Donald Trump and those who follow his every utterance do not agree with".

In the "post truth" world of Trump, you can make facts go away by wishing it, even if you know them to be true.

The coal jobs are coming back. The wall will be paid for by Mexico. We'd all be better off if immigrants went home. {Pick your ethnic group} is demonstrably less human than my ethnic group. The sea level is not rising.

All these are easily falsifiable, but you can rest easy repeating them if you label the arguments against as "Fake News".

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GBE

Re: Ahem

> I really hate this "fake news" moniker. It was previously good enough to use the traditional terms "hoax", "inaccurate", "false" etc.

The problem with terms like "hoax", "inaccurate", and "false" is that they're used to describe things that aren't true or didn't really happen.

OTOH, the phrase "fake news" is generally used to describe things that _did_ happen and statements that _are_ true.

HTH

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Re: Fake news

"

What about a Twitter employee that deletes your account because he doesn't like your position on Star Trek vs. Star Wars?

"

Then you would no longer have a Twitter account. Which would probably make you more productive, more sociable and better liked. You could always demand your money back.

What about a Twitter subscriber who is busily coordinating a terrorist attack in real time, but cannot be stopped because the only senior Twitter employees who have the access rights to delete accounts are unavailable for the next few hours?

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Flame

Re: Fake news

"What about a Twitter employee that deletes your account because he doesn't like your position on Star Trek vs. Star Wars?"

that would be a trivial example. a more realistic one involves politics and religious beliefs [which is why Trump's account was deleted by that "rogue employee", no doubt].

ARROGANT activist asshats need to just let people say/do what they want. But they're CONTROL FREAKS and FASCISTS. They should just wear brown shirts and swastika arm bands so they'll be easier to identify.

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Devil

Re: Fake news

"PR is more normally handled by services like a news agency or press conference where a multitude of outlets get to know what you tell them."

and filter it, and spin it poorly, and spend weeks harping on a single word or tricky phrase (including omissions of same) and that's why Trump _BYPASSES_ them. "He said XXX" or "He didn't say XXX" becoming "news" for a month. Yeah, that'll help.

If Trump didn't use twitter, he'd have a blog. The thing is, it's working. Look how many people are *IRRITATED* by it! Then look at *WHO* is irritated, and you can see what Trump's doing. It's like "Am I getting to you? Am I getting to you? Am I getting to you?"

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Re: Fake news

"Look how many people are *IRRITATED* by it"

I think the word you're looking for is "alarmed" because we feel it gives an insight into the mind of one of our great national leaders.

It's worth repeating something that comes very shortly after the previous quotation:

"One of the reasons for trying to maintain impenetrable secrecy around Government Ministers is that without it many would make themselves laughing stocks within days or -- at most -- weeks."

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Re: Fake news

You are a bit thick aren't you

A two step process means someone ELSE has to approve YOUR actions

Fuck me

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Re: Fake news

"Then look at *WHO* is irritated, and you can see what Trump's doing. It's like "Am I getting to you? Am I getting to you? Am I getting to you?"

Effing morons going on and on about bollocks tend to "get to you". Not a great positive for a POTUS.

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Re: It was previously good enough to use the traditional terms "hoax", "inaccurate", "false" etc.

But don't you know? Mexicans aren't real people. Once you don't need them to fix your car or clean your hotel any longer, you just get rid of them.

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Damn! I missed it. For the good of the US (and the world) someone ought to set up a cron job to deactivate it overnight, although if he's off in Asia then perhaps 'overnight' needs to be a bit flexible.

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Boffin

"perhaps 'overnight' needs to be a bit flexible."

Set the cron job to Venus time...

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Re: "perhaps 'overnight' needs to be a bit flexible."

How about dark side of mercury time?

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It's always "overnight" somewhere...so that will be all the time then.

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Obviously...

...one of the long-suffering reality-based people in the West Wing guessed that the president's Twitter password was 'djt' and used it to close the account. When Trump couldn't log in for his regular nvarchar(140) brain dump, he asked for a password reset, reactivated his account and set his new password to

[Answers on a postcard]

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Re: Obviously...

bigly? yuge? pussy? fake? great?

Does he know any other words?

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Re: Obviously...

It's obviously going to be djt1.

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Pint

Re: Obviously...

regular nvarchar(140) brain dump

nice one

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Re: Obviously...

"covfefe"

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Re: Obviously...

"Does he know any other words?"

hmmm... 'wall'

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tfb

Re: Obviously...

That's a good question. Given his limited vocabulary I wonder how hard it would actually be to guess his credentials? Does Twitter have 2FA and has a grownup turned it on for him? if not then we need someone to leak his password hash.

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Re: Obviously...

"Given his limited vocabulary I wonder how hard it would actually be to guess his credentials?"

But you have to allow for his spelling as well. I have many passwords which contain incorrectly spelt words.

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tfb

Re: Obviously...

I'm not sure that that will save him. Even with all the speling mistaks, he probably only has a useful vocabulary of a few hundred words (say a hundred, and three ways of spelling each), and I doubt he can remember anything for long enough to type a password of more than two words ('what was I typing ... have to start again ... Bad!').

Not that I suggest trying to attack his accounts, of course: that would be bad and, well, bad.

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Anonymous Coward

This was only a test. The problem is that the account "has since been restored." But fortunately, they "are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again." Let's hope it's not a "simultaneously both secure and breakable encryption" kind of problem.

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Ah, so Twitter CAN restore deleted tweets then? Now could they please explain that to the FBI?

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Twitter didn't say that deleted accounts aren't recoverable. They said that tweets (content) deleted by account holders are *generally* not recoverable. Doesn't seem absurd based on observations and semi-sensible engineering decisions.

Firstly - it seems like they don't delete things in real time, something comes along an jettisons things; but they're just hidden until that happens. Secondly when you "delete" a whole account it probably gets archived so it can be reactivated, even after that point. There's sensible evidence of this. If you wanted to kill all Trumps tweets you'd have to delete his actual tweets, and they'd probably live for a short period.

On top of that I wouldn't be surprised if Twitter make extra effort to back up accounts of people with large follower accounts - in case something happens. I know I would.

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Anonymous Coward

ah, well, that ex-twitter employee won't receive any severance pay, may well be sued by both twitter and trump, and will never work in the USA again.

I hope he thinks his actions were worth it.

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It was worth it for shits and giggles alone.

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Anonymous Coward

Our message is very important to us

Wrap some high-level management explanatory BS around the core message of "my middle finger slipped on the keyboard" to obfuscate culpability. And while you might be surprised at it, I think you'll find that some credibility has been gained by that poor soul in some quarters and countries.

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