He was hailed as a hero by some after shutting down Donald Trump‘s Twitter account on his last day at work for the social media giant.
But now the man behind the President’s Twitter deletion has said the apparent act of defiance was an unintentional mistake.
He has been revealed as 20-something German man Bahtiyar Duysak, who worked at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco, US.
He worked in customer support with the Trust & Safety division, the team that reviews alerts of bad behaviour on the platform.
Duysak told TechCrunch that he was near the end of his last day working for Twitter when an alert came in about Trump’s account.
As a final gesture, he started the process of deactivating the account, closed his computer and left the building.
He didn’t expect the process to actually be completed, he said, but it was.
Shortly before 7pm on Thursday, November 2 (11pm UK time) reports surfaced suggesting the president’s personal account, @RealDonaldTrump, was unavailable, providing the error message that the user ‘does not exist.’
The account was restored by 7.03pm and Twitter took responsibility for the outage.
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
In a statement, the company initially said Mr Trump’s account was ‘inadvertently deactivated due to human error’ by one of its employees but restored 11 minutes later.
Twitter later said the deactivation ‘was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day.’
‘I had a wild time in America,’ Duysak said.
‘I was tired sometimes and everyone can make mistakes.
‘It might be that I had a mistake but there are of course, not just one mistake by one human can create this end result.’
He added: ‘I didn’t hack anyone. I didn’t do anything that I wasn’t authorised to do.’
Twitter declined to confirm that Duysak was responsible for the deletion but said the company has ‘taken a number of steps to keep an incident like this from happening again.’
Many took to Twitter to praise the former employee on his final job for the company.
But others raised concerns about security on the site.
At the time, Twitter said it was conducting a full internal review and implementing safeguards to prevent incidents like this in the future.
No joke, the internet has nominated the Twitter employee who shut down Trump's account for a Nobel Peace Prize
— Ed Krassenstein (@EdKrassen) November 6, 2017
Just gonna say it, the employee at Twitter who shut off Trump's account for 11 mins could become a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) November 3, 2017
CEO Jack Dorsey also acknowledged in an interview shortly after the incident that there have been weaknesses and gaps, which it is also trying to address. He said that the clause about newsworthiness, which was not publicly known until Twitter made it so, was one of those gaps.
‘We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again,’ Twitter tweeted from its Twitter Government account.
‘We won’t be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it.’