You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Twitter Contractor Who Took Down Donald Trump’s Account Reveals His Identity

The Twitter temporary staffer who briefly deactivated Donald Trump’s account earlier this month has come forward — and he claims he never intended to take down the president’s feed.

Bahtiyar Duysak, a 20-something native of Germany who is of Turkish origin, told TechCrunch in an interview that he was responsible for the outage of Trump’s Twitter account. He had worked for Twitter’s Trust and Safety operations team starting in July 2017 through Pro Unlimited, a staffing agency catering to the tech industry, before he left in November.

According to Duysak, on his last day working at Twitter, a user had flagged Trump’s account for a violation of its rules. Duysak then initiated action to deactivate @realDonaldTrump, but claimed in the interview with TechCrunch that he never believed it would actually get disabled — calling the incident a “mistake.”

As a result, @realDonaldTrump went dark for an 11-minute period on Nov. 2. Twitter quickly restored Trump’s account, which it said at the time was “inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee.”

Twitter has declined to confirm Duysak as the culprit. “We have taken a number of steps to keep an incident like this from happening again,” a company rep said in a statement to Variety. “To protect our internal security measures, we don’t have further details to share at this time.”

In addition to his stint at Twitter via Pro Unlimited, Duysak had worked for a short time at Google and YouTube through Vaco, another third-party contracting firm, per his LinkedIn page. Duysak has since moved back to Germany, according to the TechCrunch report. Duysak has a master’s degree in banking and finance from the U.K.’s University of Birmingham and completed a postgraduate program at Cal State University, BuzzFeed reported.

On Nov. 2, Trump detractors had immediately hailed the heretofore unidentified Twitter staffer as a folk hero for disabling the president’s account, if ever so briefly.

Critics have argued that Trump routinely violates Twitter terms of service by engaging in personal attacks and promoting violence, among other things. In September, Twitter said that it allows certain content to remain on the service — even if a tweet otherwise violates its rules — if there is “a legitimate public interest in its availability.”

More Digital

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

  • Vice Media

    Vice Media Taps Joe Simon as Chief Technology Officer (EXCLUSIVE)

    Joe Simon has been tapped as chief technology officer at Vice Media. The newly created role will include oversight of data analytics, engineering, information technology, media operations, media technology, post production, and systems management. Prior to Vice, Simon spent three years as Encompass Digital Media’s chief operating officer. Previously he held the chief technology officer [...]

  • att_logo

    AT&T Suspends YouTube Ad Spending as Boycott Over 'Pedophilia' Videos Scandal Widens

    AT&T, one month after it thought it was safe to advertise on YouTube again, said it is pulling all advertising spending from the world’s biggest video platform. The telco joins a boycott by marketers alarmed by the discovery that a secret group of child predators has been using YouTube to make sexual comments about kids. [...]

  • VR Pop-Up Opens Doors in Manhattan

    Future of Storytelling Pop-Up VR Arcade Is Coming to Manhattan

    Manhattan is getting a location-based virtual reality (VR) pop-up, courtesy of Future of Storytelling: The temporary Story Arcade will open its doors in the Starrett-Lehigh building this coming Saturday, and host a number of VR experiences, including Felix & Paul Studio’s “Traveling While Black,” Fable’s “Wolves in the Walls” and MWM Immersive’s immersive theater VR [...]

  • Amy Winehouse

    Amy Winehouse Hologram Tour Canceled Over 'Challenges and Sensitivities'

    Amy Winehouse will not be “Back to Black” in a holographic live tour after all. The late British singer, who died in 2011, was to be featured in a stage show slated to launch near the end of 2019. But the producer of the show, BASE Hologram, has indefinitely postponed plans for the Winehouse show, [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez Joins TikTok App to Promote NBC's 'World of Dance'

    Jennifer Lopez is the latest celebrity to hop on TikTok, the short-form video app owned by Chinese internet giant ByteDance — more proof of the app’s growing traction, and reflective of media companies’ desire to reach its young-skewing base. Lopez had a very specific aim: to get fans excited about “World of Dance,” the NBC [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content