Contract employee identified as culprit for Trump's Twitter account disappearance

Saturday, 04 Nov, 2017

The rogue Twitter employee hailed as a social media hero for shutting down the President's account was hired as a contract worker, according to new reports. "I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact", Trump tweeted on Friday.

In a tweet Friday, the company said it would not share all the details of its investigation or updates on their security measure, "but we take this seriously and our teams are on it". Twitter customer support cannot, however, access customers' private direct messages, nor can they tweet on behalf of other users, these people said. What's less clear is if the company has tougher safeguards for taking action on higher-profile accounts, such as Trump's.

After the snafu, Twitter announced it's launching an internal review, but Lawson says addressing a breach involving a former employee could prove hard for the company.

Regardless, Lawson said the president's use of Twitter as an official platform is a conversation that should have been held in the White House a long time ago.

The hearings have also helped to increase scrutiny on how technology companies handle the information they are given by users.

Some have wondered whether his threatening tweets to North Korea were at odds with Twitter's terms and conditions. Bombarded with questions about the 140-character policy statements or political attacks, White House staffers are often in the dark themselves. That employee has not been named and it's not clear what kind of access he or she had to the president's account.

Trump uses Instagram and Facebook sparingly, usually to amplify items he has already tweeted. He has 41.7 million followers on Twitter.

For his part, Trump used the opportunity to brag about his social media influence.

What basically amounted to a public threat made against a world leader who has been very open about the prospect of aiming nuclear missiles at the United States was not something that Twitter was willing to take down.

That's why when Trump's account went dark Thursday, some observers assumed it was a formal rebuke.

"Earlier today @realdonaldtrump's account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee".

But in a conference call with investors earlier this week, the social network said many of these will likely not be full-time employees; the company will largely rely on third-party contractors.

Trump supporters warned of censorship.

The site reserves the power to suspend or permanently shut down accounts. "It was pungent, pugnacious and sometimes risque".

The fact that U.S. President Donald Trump's Twitter account was deactivated by a rogue employee has raised questions about how much access and control Twitter Inc.'s workforce has over an individual user's account.