A former contractor at Twitter admitted Monday to accidentally shutting down Donald Trump's Twitter account last month, but said he believes the president's tweets did violate the social media platform's ban on hate speech.
Bahtiyar Duysak, 28, said during an interview in Frankfurt, Germany that he clicked "a few wrong things which I shouldn’t have done" on Nov. 2, his last day working at Twitter. As a result of his poor clicking, he shut down Trump's Twitter account–which has 44 million followers– for eleven minutes, according to Reuters.
Twitter initially blamed a customer support employee for shutting down the account on their last day at work, and Trump blamed the issue on a "rogue employee."
"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," 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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2017
Duysak, who joined Twitter as a safety policy operations agent on July 24 after stints at Youtube and Google, said he was not paying attention when he received a complaint an hour before he was to leave Twitter’s San Francisco office for the last time.
He went on to say he thought he was dealing with one of the hundreds of fake Trump accounts, and he emphasized the importance of "always double-check[ing] things before taking an action." He nonetheless thinks Trump's tweets have breached Twitter's standards.
Duysak said that some of Trump’s posts since the incident – in particular his retweeting of anti-Islamic videos posted by a British far-right fringe group – were a breach of Twitter’s rules banning hate speech.
"You don’t need to be an expert to understand that a policy violation has happened, that the rules were broken and that this can lead to hatred being spread," he said.
Twitter said it had no comment, and the White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Twitter has also not confirmed whether Duysak was the ex-employee responsible, and declined to comment on its investigation into the matter when contacted by Reuters.
Duysak, born in Germany to a family of Turkish origins, has since moved back to Germany.
He told Reuters he has apologized to Twitter and made peace with the company for the mistake.