Twitter employee ‘deactivates’ Trump’s account

WASHINGTON — An employee at social media website Twitter closed down the personal account of US President Donald Trump for 11 minutes, Twitter said Thursday.

“Earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee,” the company said in a statement.

“The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored,” the statement said, promising to “take steps to prevent this from happening again.”

In a follow-up statement, the company said that the customer support employee who committed the misconduct was on the employee’s last day at work.

Trump’s twitter account briefly disappeared shortly before 7 p.m. local time (2300 GMT), displaying the message of “sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”

So far Trump has not reacted to the blunder.

The internet community reacted with amusement to the incident, with many social media users praising the employee for the action.

“You say ‘human error’, I say ‘due for a promotion’,” sports journalist Pete Blackburn tweeted.

The incident came as Twitter is under mounting pressure intentionally trying to sway last year’s presidential election in Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s favor.

Sean Edgett, Twitter’s general counsel, told the Senate in a hearing that the platform had hid tweets containing hashtags that were unfriendly to Clinton from searches.

“Our systems detected and hid just under half (48 percent) of the Tweets relating to variants of another notable hashtag, #DNCLeak, which concerned the disclosure of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee,” Edgett said.

Trump’s twitter account has 41.7 million followers, making him one of the influential characters on Twitter.

Trump has often stirred up controversy with his tweets, making straightforward remarks or announcing domestic and foreign policies, which were rare among former presidents. Critics say the president should be more careful of what he says, while the White House says the account gives him unfiltered access to his supporters.