By Zack Downing, Staff Writer
In a move equivalent to duct taping his mouth shut, a Twitter employee took down President Trump’s Twitter on Thursday the 2nd, before it was reactivated 11 minutes later.
It was later revealed that the employee was finishing up his last day with the company, and decided to go out with the biggest bang that he could.
Trump’s staff panicked and did what they could to contact Twitter to get them to fix it, ultimately having it resolved. Those among the rest of the nation that noticed the take down, Trump supporters and haters alike, waited with bated breath in those 11 minutes to see if this was the end of Trump’s Twitter tirades.
It was not. After having his account brought back, Trump tweeted, “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.”
“Finally be getting out,” he says, as if every day his tweets aren’t shown on the news and read by his 40+ million followers.
Ultimately, the take down of his account didn’t spark any outcry. Most people thought it was funny, even some conservatives. The government didn’t come after the employee accusing him of treason or anything, and there was no evidence Trump himself was angry about it.
Since the account was put back up without any damage, it seemed that the incident was almost left with the “no harm, no foul” stamp on it. However, even if the moment came and went without any harm, it revealed one of the biggest fouls of Trump’s presidency.
Whether or not you read Trump’s tweets or care about the content, you know that it’s basically the mouth of the Oval Office. If Trump thinks something, he’ll tweet it, or if he wants to passive aggressively insult a world leader, he’ll tweet it.
To some extent, the fact that it’s so simple and convenient is good, since it connects the American people right to the president’s mind. However, its simplicity is its downfall: Twitter employees have access to it, and the fact that a random employee completely shut it down is evidence of that.
I’m sure the guy had the ability to completely erase his account and all his followers, which would have been just as easy, and a lot more serious.
The scariest part is that anyone can log on to Trump’s Twitter if they guess his password. It must be a damn good password if no one has guessed it yet, but if it does happen, they could start a war with a single sentence.
It would be like if someone put on an extremely convincing Trump costume and held a live press conference with reporters.
The lack of password security was the same root problem with Hillary Clinton’s private email server; all someone had to do was guess her password and they could access classified documents.
Now, someone might say that there’s a big difference between CIA information and tweeting, but Trump’s use of Twitter has given it equally huge power.
The employee blacking out Trump’s Twitter account should remind us that his Twitter account is amateur, and just as susceptible to hacking and mistakes as your or my Facebook accounts. No president in history would have said “covfefe” during a speech or on an official White House statement.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with the president’s ability to send messages directly to the public, even if you think those messages are dumb and juvenile. Trump’s administration just needs to find a more secure way to do it. Or, Twitter can take security of his account super seriously and put up firewalls around access to it.
In the meantime, keep taking guesses at his password. I have a feeling “Ivanka” is in there somewhere.