Twitter mistakenly blocked access and deleted dozens of tweets from the account of a popular Supreme Court blog after believing the account had been compromised.
The temporary mix up Monday evening with the Twitter account of SCOTUSblog came on one of the busiest days for Supreme Court reporters — the end of the term, when a slate of high-profile decisions are handed down.
To mark the end of the final day, SCOTUSblog has a tradition of taking to Twitter to sarcastically respond to the dozens of people who directed complaints to the blog, mistakenly thinking that its @SCOTUSblog account is the official account of the Supreme Court.
The blog calls it the “running of the trolls.”
But as SCOTUSblog began sending the tweets, Twitter kicked the employees out of the account and deleted at least 20 tweets. After a few hours of pushback, Twitter eventually restored the tweets.
“We’ve done this for several Terms without incident,” said Tom Goldstein, the founder of SCOTUSblog. “But this Term, Twitter — probably through some automated system — decided that our account had been hacked. So it kicked us out of our account — thinking we were the hackers — and then blocked all the tweets, so they have disappeared.”
Twitter has received criticism over the years for the sometimes inconsistent way it removes tweets or deactivates accounts that have been flagged.
It has also had to respond recently to a number of high-profile breaches in which people actually gained unauthorized access to a slate of accounts, including one owned by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the National Football League.