Twitter Employee Blamed For Deleting President's Account

04 November, 2017, 01:07 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • People Are Calling a Rogue Twitter Employee Who Deactivated Trump's Account a Hero

Hundreds of employees are able to access the accounts of so-called Very Important Tweeters, or VITs, and can take actions like disabling the accounts, according to current and former Twitter employees.

Some have wondered whether his threatening tweets to North Korea were at odds with Twitter's terms and conditions.

Update: We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again.

But given Mr Trump's prominence, and his ability for trying to direct U.S. policy in 140 character, the episode prompted a swirl of questions about what safeguards the site uses to prevent its employees from arbitrarily taking down accounts. The company is conducting an internal investigation into the deleting of President Trump's account. Users on the platform also noted that the incident raises concerns about the firm's ability protect the account's security.

The issue with Mr Trump's Twitter account could not seemingly have come at a more inopportune time for the company, with all of Twitter, Google and Facebook all facing hearings in the US Congress about the Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election. "We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again", the tweet said. This goes to show that Twitter and other social media accounts count as privileged accounts and should be treated just as if they are part of a company's most valuable IT assets. That employee has since been hailed in social media as a hero and as a scourge for acting against the president, who said the move reflected the impact his Twitter messages have had.

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NBC News has reached out to the White House to clarify if any protocols surrounding the president's use of Twitter have been changed as the result of the incident.

This incident highlights the need for companies, especially those with a lot of data, to bulk up their monitoring capabilities and keep track of which employees have administrative control and access to information, Connor said. "Nobody can tweet from those accounts", a former Twitter executive told CNN.

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

It's not uncommon for technology companies like Twitter to rely on third-party workers for a range of tasks, some of them more sensitive than others.

The New York Times reported that this person wasn't a full-time employee, but a contractor, which caused many people to wonder how one part-time worker could wield so much power over the account of one of the world's leaders.


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