Trump Goes Bump In The Night, Rogue Twitter Employee Takes Him Down


Not since the missing 18-½ Nixon tape minutes has more attention been paid to a lapse in Presidential media than when President Donald Trump’s Twitter account went down for 11 minutes last night.

The Twittersphere erupted with glee, as well as theories, about what caused the takedown -- a hack, technical difficulties, or maybe Twitter has simply decided to live up to its own policies governing abusive accounts. That was until Twitter Government weighed in with successive tweets explaining what happened.

Initially, Twitter attributed it to “human error,” and said it was investigating the matter.

But it quickly updated with a tweet confirming the lapse was done by “a Twitter customer-support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.”

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That, in turn, set off countless tweets, retweets, comments and memes, including one by @winterjessica featuring a GIF of actress Elisabeth Moss’s Peggy Olson character on “Mad Men” strutting out of the office on her final day at Sterling Cooper with a smirk on her face.

Media critic @jeffjarvis proposed a “Twittertape parade” for the anonymous hero.

@MikeLevinCA thank her or him for “Making America Great Again for 11 minutes.”

The hack didn’t end with the 11-minute takedown. Late Thursday night, after @realDonaldTrump’s account came back up, it showed only 5,395 followers, not the 41.7 million that Twitter currently shows.

Trump may or may not have had the last laugh this morning, tweeting: “I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact.”

2 comments about "Trump Goes Bump In The Night, Rogue Twitter Employee Takes Him Down".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, November 3, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.

    Many media sites this morning are extra gleeful about this event because they really miss the gatekeeper function they formerly wielded against politicians, often in a capricious and arbitrary fashion. Journalists are indeed valuable as the fifth estate but they are still self-appointed watchdogs. As evil as elected officials can be, they are at least the victors in a formal electoral process.

  2. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, November 3, 2017 at 1:39 p.m.

    @Douglas Ferguson: When you say "many media sites this morning are..." you sound like a certain POTUS tweeting "many people..." without reference or attribution. That is exactly the kind of thing bona fide journalists are trained to do (ie. explicitly source things). As for my own reporting, I was just reporting what people on Twitter were doing. I didn't speculate on why they were gleeful, but I think some of it has to do with the way @realDonaldTrump has used Twitter and the fact that some of them feel it has been abusive. Speaking only for myself, I have tweeted and editorialized that I think it is reckless for a President to have a personal one-to-masses communications platform that he uses to set federal policy and influence national and global agendas. I don't think that was envisioned by the framers of our Constitution or I think they would have factored it in. I don't expect an Amendment like that to occur in the current political climate, but I think Twitter could enforce its own self-regulation policies. It just updated them today, so we'll see what comes from that. Re. your next to last point about journalists being self-appointed watchdogs, that's only partially true. Their readers second that appointment by reading them and either paying directly via subscriptions or indirectly via their audience attention (monetized by advertising). Yes, anyone can get a printing press or a server and begin publishing as a self-appointed journalist. In my opinion, way too many are these days. But ultimately it is up to the marketplace to decide if they are viable journalists. I won't comment on your last point, because lack the expertise about the formality of the electoral process.


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