The official Twitter account of President Donald Trump or @realdonaldtrump was deactivated by an employee at Twitter who was leaving the company Thursday and was off line for 11 minutes prior to being restored, said the social media platform.
Trump has more than 41.7 million Twitter followers and has used the microblogging platform extensively to send messages that at times attack opponents and well as promote his policies, both while he was campaigning for the 2016 president election and since he took office as the president in January.
Twitter in an official tweet said that the company learned that the Trump account was taken off line by a customer support employee who took it down on his final day of work and it would conduct a complete internal review.
The company added that it was conducting a thorough investigation while at the same time taking steps to ensure that this does not happen again.
A spokesperson from Twitter declined to make any further comments, while the White House was silent as well when a comment was requested.
In the first tweet he made following his account being reinstated, Trump said the Great Tax Cut would be rolled out today. He added that lobbyists were storming Capitol Hill, but the GOP would hold strong and do the right thing for America.
The incident on Thursday evening raised several questions about how the personal account of Trump is secured, including the official @potus account for the president and other Twitter accounts that could possibly be influential to world events.
This also comes at a time when tech companies, including Twitter, are being attacked on Capitol Hill by lawmakers for not stemming the spread of propaganda by the Russians and the large amounts of misinformation on their respective platforms.
Twitter has faced much criticism for not policing its own platform enough and responding to complaints over abuse.
The temporary deleting of the president’s account created a rush of criticism from Twitter users. It is unknown the number of employees at Twitter who have authority to delete Twitter accounts or to tamper with them, such as sending out tweets that are not from the account holder.
Twitter has not replied to questions regarding what employees and how many have that authority. With the shift over the past four to five years towards social media platforms for posting anything and everything, talk has increased about how to better control what is allowed to be published on the many different platforms without creating problems with peoples’ rights.