An employee at the left-leaning social media giant Twitter “deactivated” President Donald Trump’s Twitter account on Thursday, sparking widespread outrage across the platform.
Twitter’s initial statement regarding the incident claimed that Trump’s account was “inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee.”
However, after further investigation, Twitter revealed that the act appeared not to be “inadvertent” but intentional — carried out by an employee on their last day of work.
The revelation immediately sparked harsh criticism of the social media platform, which has long been accused of bias against conservatives.
Political analyst Nick Short — who serves as the Digital Media Director at the Security Studies Group — highlighted key concerns this incident raises.
"Did this ‘customer support Twitter employee’ also mess with Trump's @POTUS Twitter account? Did he steal any private info as well?" Short tweeted.
In another tweet, Short pointed out how this is most likely a reflection of the culture at Twitter.
"Think about this next time you contact ‘twitter customer support.’ Guaranteed this employee & fellow co-workers all share the same ideology," Short wrote.
GAB — the new social media platform that bills itself as a free speech platform — hammered Twitter.
This all comes just one day after Twitter general counsel Sean Edgett revealed to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday that the company had censored tweets that were damaging to the Democratic Party during the 2016 election.
In his written testimony, Edgett noted that Twitter intentionally hid tweets that had certain hashtags that related to the WikiLeaks release of the leaked Podesta emails (#PodestaEmails) and DNC emails (#DNCLeak):
Before the election, we also detected and took action on activity relating to hashtags that have since been reported as manifestations of efforts to interfere with the 2016 election. For example, our automated spam detection systems helped mitigate the impact of automated Tweets promoting the #PodestaEmails hashtag, which originated with Wikileaks’ publication of thousands of emails from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s Gmail account. The core of the hashtag was propagated by Wikileaks, whose account sent out a series of 118 original Tweets containing variants on the hashtag #PodestaEmails referencing the daily installments of the emails released on the Wikileaks website. In the two months preceding the election, around 57,000 users posted approximately 426,000 unique Tweets containing variations of the #PodestaEmails hashtag. Approximately one quarter (25%) of those Tweets received internal tags from our automation detection systems that hid them from searches. As described in greater detail below, our systems detected and hid just under half (48%) of the Tweets relating to variants of another notable hashtag, #DNCLeak, which concerned the disclosure of leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee. These steps were part of our general efforts at the time to fight automation and spam on our platform across all areas.