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Nov 18, 2019-Monday



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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

Poetry, peace: What Twitter users said in the 11 minutes Trump’s account did ‘not exist’

US President Donald Trump’s @realdonaldtrump Twitter account was deactivated by a Twitter Inc employee who was leaving the company on Thursday and was down for 11 minutes before it was restored.

world Updated: Nov 03, 2017 11:39 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The masthead of US President Donald Trump's @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.
The masthead of US President Donald Trump's @realDonaldTrump Twitter account.(Reuters Photo)

It lasted 11 minutes.

Shortly before 7 pm on Thursday, social media reports surfaced that the US President’s personal account @RealDonaldTrump was unavailable — showing an error message that the user “does not exist”. The account was restored minutes later.

This short span of time was commemorated by many as the ‘Trump Twitter Outage of 2017’. Some users heaved a sigh of relief, revelling in the silence, while others mockingly warned against forgetting this day.

People speculated over why the account was down, with some suggesting it could be a conscious but shocking decision by Trump. More elaborate theories linked the move to Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia for interfering in the 2016 US election.

The US President’s love for the platform is well-documented. With over 40 million followers, Trump has indiscriminately voiced his opinions on Twitter — often evoking the wrath of critics who consider his unfiltered outpourings “unpresidential”. Trump has tweeted threats of war with North Korea, posted an edited video of him “tackling CNN to the ground”, and lashed out at rivals, among other controversies.

The hoopla refused to die down even after Trump’s account was restored.

Twitter’s statement that Trump’s account was deactivated by an employee who was leaving the company sparked another line of jokes and memes. Many claimed the unnamed employee went out “with a bang” on his/her last day at work, and even suggested that the company reinstate the “true American hero” with a raise.

An occasional voice of support propped up: 

When everything was over, Trump went back to tweeting like the ‘outage’ had never happened. And the White House remained silent.