“A confusing and unintelligible tweet released by U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) Sunday night drew ridicule and thousands of shares on Twitter after the military arm tweeted “;l;;gmlxzssaw,” reported The Hill on Monday.
“The garbled message, released at 7:48 p.m., received more than 11,000 retweets and hundreds of comments before it was deleted roughly half an hour later,” the report continued.
Stratcom initially put out an apology tweet, writing “Apologizes for any confusion. Please disregard this post.” Soon after, their apology tweet was also quickly deleted, prompting further questions from already confused Twitter users.
“The bizarre message drew speculation that it was the military’s inadvertent release of the ‘nuclear launch codes,’ jokes that a cat was allowed on the keyboard and suggestions that the message was meant for extraterrestrial viewers,” The Hill added.
After waves of potential theories sparked online, the Daily Dot solved the mystery, reporting that a small child was responsible for the viral “;l;;gmlxzssaw” message which sent Twitter into a conspiratorial tailspin.
The outlet filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Stratcom and “learned that a small child had produced the tweet.”
“Filed a FOIA request with U.S. Strategic Command to see if I could learn anything about their gibberish tweet yesterday,” wrote Mikael Thalen of the Daily Dot. “Turns out their Twitter manager left his computer unattended, resulting in his ‘very young child’ commandeering the keyboard.”
Filed a FOIA request with U.S. Strategic Command to see if I could learn anything about their gibberish tweet yesterday.
Turns out their Twitter manager left his computer unattended, resulting in his "very young child" commandeering the keyboard. pic.twitter.com/KR07PCyCUM
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) March 29, 2021
“Shoutout to the FOIA officer at USSTRATCOM who provided this response just 4 hours and 42 minutes after I filed,” he added.
“USSTRATCOM’s FOIA officer stated that the tweet had been made when the agency’s Twitter manager momentarily left his computer unattended,” the Daily Dot report continued.
“The Command’s Twitter manager, while in a telework status, momentarily left the Command’s Twitter account open and unattended,” the response states. “His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet.”
“USSTRATCOM further stressed that the tweet was not the result of a hacking incident,” the Daily Dot added.
“Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred, i.e., no hacking of our Twitter account,” the response noted. “The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically.”
The original tweet of “;l;;gmlxzssaw” also received “some sympathy messages, including from Canada’s military, which tweeted: ‘These things happen. This might even happen to you one day. It’s okay, folks.’”
Interestingly enough, this wasn’t the first time that Stratcom’s Twitter feed has stirred controversy. “Stratcom, which is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces and deterring missile attacks, in 2018 was criticized for a New Year’s Eve tweet joking about dropping bombs,” The Hill report added.
“#TimesSquare tradition rings in the #NewYear by dropping the big ball…if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” Stratcom tweeted. They later apologized, saying that the tweet was in “poor taste.”
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