Worker who deleted Trump’s Twitter was a contractor: report
The rogue Twitter worker who briefly deactivated President Trump’s account on Thursday night was hired as a contract worker, reports The New York Times.
The contractor who deactivated Trump’s Twitter on their last day, causing it to go down for 11 minutes, was not hired on a full-time basis, two sources told the paper.
Many technology firms regularly hire thousands of third-party contract workers to handle a range of duties like content moderation and review, janitorial duties and food service.
The report raises questions about who Twitter allows power over its platform. A former employee told Buzzfeed that “a lot” of employees have the ability to suspend accounts but fewer can fully deactivate them.
“It’s one click if you have the rights to access the tool,” the former employee said.
Twitter announced later in the afternoon that it was taking new measures to prevent this from happening again.
“Update: We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again. We won’t be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it,” Twitter Government tweeted Friday afternoon.
Update: We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again. We won’t be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it. https://t.co/8EfEzHvB7p
— Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
Twitter, alongside Facebook and Google, testified before Congress earlier this week about their efforts to crack down on misuse and manipulation of their platforms for political gain.
Lawmakers grilled the companies over their platforms’ role in allowing the spread of misinformation during the 2016 elections. The firms’ lawyers responded with assurances that they would do better moving forward.
The internet erupted in confusion on Thursday night after Trump’s Twitter went down.
Different Twitter users reported being able to see Trump’s account at different times and began speculating on what happened until Twitter tweeted out that the President’s account had been “inadvertently” deleted for 11 minutes before it was brought back online.
The social media company revealed later in the evening that Trump’s account had been deleted by a rogue employee on their last day at the company. Liberals hailed the anonymous person at Twitter as a hero.
“My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning.
Updated at 2:12 p.m.
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