What do you do when it’s your last day of work, you’re a Twitter contractor (not even an employee), and you think you’ve got nothing to lose? Attack the account of one of the most powerful (and Twitter-happy) people in the world.
At least, I can only assume that was the thought process behind the unnamed person who took down President Trump’s account on Twitter yesterday. According to the New York Times, a contractor hit the proverbial off button, taking down the account for eleven minutes before it was restored. Nobody had to hack the system — they already had perfect access. And, according to NYT, so do a hundreds of other contractors for companies like ProUnlimited and Cognizant.
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The employee is being heartily congratulated on social media, and their prank is being treated like an audacious political move — they could have lost a bet, for all we know.
Twitter’s Government account has said the customer support employee was on their last day when they did it. The company has also said, via the same account, that it has adjusted its security to keep it from happening again. So Trump is safe now.
Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review. https://t.co/mlarOgiaRF
— Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
Kinda makes me wonder, though: if you were one of Twitter’s contractors, and you had access to the accounts of its most powerful and followed users before this update — what would you do? I’m going to assume most of Twitter’s contractors have managed to make it through their last day without causing such a ruckus. But still, if you thought you could get away with it, what (or who) would you take the proverbial hammer to first?
For his part, Trump seems to have taken the incident as a good sign. At least, I think this is an expression of positive thought:
My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017