REPORT: “Rogue” Twitter Staffer Who Briefly Took Down Trump’s Account Was Outsourced Contract Worker

The New York Times reports:

Twitter blamed the deletion of President Trump’s Twitter account on Thursday night on a rogue customer support employee. That employee has since been hailed in social media as a hero and as a scourge for acting against the president, who said the move reflected the impact his Twitter messages have had.

Yet it turns out the rogue employee was not a full-time employee at Twitter at all, according to two people briefed on the matter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details are confidential. The person who shut down Mr. Trump’s account was a contractor, the people said. The discovery highlights a difficult issue for Twitter, as well as other technology companies that rely on large amounts of contract workers to handle sensitive work.

Facebook, Twitter and other companies outsource content review to third-party services like ProUnlimited and Cognizant, which are essentially internet call centers staffed with hundreds of workers who deal with customer service issues.

  • Tatonka
  • Lazycrockett

    So a part time employee on the way out of the door has this much access to twitter. Yeah that’s not a security risk. SMH

    • Todd20036

      Actually wish he had more.

    • Chris Baker

      Possibly he/she only the ability to disable accounts. That the account was able to be pulled back up, including the tweet history shows that the account wasn’t deleted, just disabled. I suppose if someone is using an account for something illegal (child porn, etc.) there needs to be a way to shut off an account.

      We don’t know if the contractor was able to post to the account or anything else. But it definitely is an issue because what if it had happened on election day or something else, for anyone’s account (candidate, reporter, pollster, etc.)

  • MoeLarryAndJesus

    Now if only a rogue pharmacist could replace his hemorrhoid suppositories with Pop Rocks,,,

  • Professor Barnhardt
  • m_lp_ql_m

    Outsourced may or may not necessarily include offshored.

  • TK

    I hope he/she’s rehired by someone quickly, they did the Lord’s work.

    • Fifth-and-a-Half Element

      Covfefe, Johnny?

      • TrueWords

        No thanks!!!

    • Todd20036

      He looks like he used to be a lot of fun in bed!

    • TrueWords
      • Kyle Deetz

        thank you for that

  • Gustav2

    I bet the percentage of customer service workers for Twitter who are poorly paid outside contractors is YUGE!

    You have to pay a decent wage and benefits for loyalty, bitches.

  • JuanGalicia

    I’m hoping it was sort of like it is with Comcast, my brother in Mexico worked for them in customer service briefly during college. and he was able to access client´s accounts.. so sort of like that.

    It would be hilarious to me if it turned out it was a Mexican worker haha

  • Ninja0980

    Twitter banning porn will get more of a blowback then the fact a outsourced contract worker has this much access to the twitter accounts of the President.

  • Bambino

    Contract workers are part time employees companies hire to avoid paying full time workers benefits due to companies profit margin. Twitter and any businesses cannot blamed those kind of mistake because of contract workers.

  • Michael R
    • greenmanTN

      It’s funny because it’s (probably) true.

    • JCF

      Stevie, your “non-Presbyterian” self is NEXT…

  • netxtown

    Any chance of sorrow for Twitter just whizzled away. “Customer Support” contract employees are used so that large companies like Twitter don’t have to provide any benefits – and then they stomp on the billing rate until these are $9-11/hr jobs. It’s obvious from the permissions granted, this particular employee was fulfilling a position that SHOULD have been direct hire – but Twitter’s greed bit ’em in the ass. Good.

    Oh…see also: Home Depot.

    • RobynWatts

      And Papa Johns (although their “product” was lousy to begin with.)

  • Jonathan Smith

    i just can’t get myself to give a shit who it was.
    good for him anyway

  • m_lp_ql_m

    Is Twitter still skipping out on taxes because they did the city of SF a “favor” by locating downtown there?

  • Jefe5084

    I think that person deserves the medal of freedom. Gave the entire world a few minutes of calm.

  • another_steve

    The orange monster’s twitter account must be suspended.

    I bet you there are teams of Russians working on this day and night: How to hack into his account and create “false” messages designed to bring about war with America’s enemies.

    I bet you.

    • Tawreos

      All they really need is someone hired at the right company and they have all the access they need.

    • Jonathan Smith

      i never take sucker bets…..
      unless I know I’m going to lose…………

      • Tawreos

        I would love to join that game.

      • another_steve

        I was once a twink. People wanted to play strip poker with me.

        I agreed to it.

        • Jonathan Smith

          ahhhh, the good, OLD days.

          • another_steve

            Blessed I was – and blessed others similarly-situated and reading here were – to have been out and socially/sexually active in the pre-HIV/AIDS era.

            I came out in NYC in January 1972.

            Blessed, I was.

            To have been there and to be still here.

        • Todd20036

          Vanity is what keeps me going to the gym. I’d like to say it’s for good health, but honestly, well, I have very uncompromising floor to ceiling mirrors in my apartment

          • another_steve

            I sense you’re still hot for your age, Todd.

            The years, they take a toll. We can go to the gym day and night, but still…the years.

            I was once hot.

            You should see me now.

          • Todd20036

            I’ll turn 50 in April. Ugh!

          • Karl Dubhe

            Shingles vaccine. Get it now. Trust me.

            Lie about your age if you have to.

          • Like me…I look in the mirror and ask, “Who is that old guy and how did he get in our house?!?”

          • another_steve

            Age is not determinant.

            I had a dear aunt who lived to age 98. She possessed the wisdom of those who have lived a long long time and have experienced it all.

            To say she was queer-friendly would be an understatement.

            Rest in peace, dear Aunt Libby.

          • edrex

            isn’t that from “cats”?

          • Chucktech

            You’ll thank yourself someday when or if your male pulchritude fades. You’ll be healthier in your dotage.

          • Karl Dubhe

            I’m still hoping to die before I get old. Strange thing is, that number keeps on getting bigger. Funny that.


          • Karl Dubhe

            Get rid of them. It works. 🙂

  • kevin000

    it seems the twitter government is about as effective as our own.

    • Jonathan Smith

      totally not at all?

  • Tatonka

    O/T — Trump administration scientists just released a report that there is “no convincing alternative explanation” other than human activity as the cause of climate change. Probably no accident that they did so while he’s in the air flying to Japan.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Considering Trump’s weight, that very plane he’s on is probably raising the average ambient temperature a full 1° as we speak.

      • Reality.Bites

        More if he farts

    • bkmn

      That report has been three years in the works and they made sure it was not going to be derailed by Hair Furor & Co.

    • ChrisMorley

      The average UN global warming temperature rise projection now is for 3C by 2100, well over the 1.5-2C Paris target.

      Miami and Mar a Lago are going under water.
      ‘Locals consider this the “new normal” in the biggest city of Florida’s
      largest metropolitan area, which would simply cease to exist with a 3C
      temperature rise. Even at 2C, forecasts show almost the entire bottom third of Florida – the area south of Lake Okeechobee currently home to more than 7 million people – submerged, with grim projections for the rest of the state in a little more than half a century. In Miami-Dade county alone, almost $15bn of coastal property is at risk of flooding in just the next 15 years.’

      • David Walker

        Interesting. What about Hawaii?

        • Sporkfighter

          Hawaii is mountainous. Florida is not.

          • David Walker

            But it also has some heavy duty beaches. The islands wouldn’t be flooded, but how high would the water rise before the mountains stopped it?

          • Sporkfighter

            Sure, some beaches will no longer be be beaches, and a lot of ocean-front property will be submerged, but there are actually mountains, and civilization can move uphill. South Florida will cease to exist. Retreating inland doesn’t help if there’s no inland to retreat to.

            Climate change in Bangladesh has started what may become the largest mass migration in human history. In recent years, riverbank erosion has annually displaced between 50,000 and 200,000 people. The population of what the Bangladesh government calls “immediately threatened” islands, called “chars,” exceeds four million.

            The Bangladesh riverine environment is so dynamic that, as chars wash away, the process of accretion creates new chars downstream. Land is so scarce and the population so dense that the displaced people try to eke out an existence on these new, highly unstable sand bars.

            A three-foot rise in sea level would submerge almost 20 percent of the entire country and displace more than 30 million people. Some scientists project a five-to-six foot rise by 2100, which would displace perhaps 50 million people. As perspective, the ongoing tragedy in Syria has caused the exodus of approximately three million people.

            Already, the intruding sea has contaminated groundwater, which supplies drinking water for coastal regions, and degraded farmland, rendering it less fertile and eventually barren.


            Hawaii has a population of less than a million and a half. There are many, many places where the threat of sea level increase is an impending death sentence to millions.

          • David Walker

            Thank you for that. Incredibly important information.

  • blackstar
  • JWC

    he did a great exposure piece

  • bkmn

    I saw tweets last night that Trump pretty much lost it when he didn’t have twitter access and ordered everyone in the WH to work on getting it back.

    • ColdCountry

      Beyond my ken. Of course, I only turn on my cell phone when I want to make a call, so the thing could be malfunctioning for months before I noticed. (I do still have a landline.)

  • Womyn2me

    He should never have to buy his own drinks again.
    And I will gladly send him 10$ if he gets sued.

    • Daveed_WOW

      He won’t get sued. When you hire someone, you take your chances and assume liability.

    • SDG

      Contractors don’t get sued… they get fired.

  • Do Something Nice

    Good to know that a part time consultant could start WWIII. Great job, Twitter.

    • Daveed_WOW

      uh, did s/he do something worse than what Trump did on Twitter?

      • Do Something Nice

        The question is COULD s/he do something worse.

        • Jonathan Smith
          • Do Something Nice

            Obviously fake – no spelling errors.

          • ChrisMorley

            Not so obviously fake, identifiably weird CapiTaliZation present.

        • ColdCountry

          Twitter is a social site. If the DumbFuck was using a secure method of communication, maybe this wouldn’t be an issue. If that was the case, and everyone knew and understood that, then anyone could say what they wanted and who cares – other than the butthurt, of course. Would it not be far easier to get ONE person to shape up, than to try and police ALL of twitter? (If the one person wasn’t Donny DumbNuts, this would be a rhetorical question.)

  • Pip

    This is what I was talking about in an earlier post. This was done by a freaking contractor. And I hate to burst folk’s safety bubble, but those “safeguards” aren’t fool proof. It just can’t be in that type of environment. That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works.

  • Cuberly Deux

    So, is the problem that a social media company has such bad access controls? Or, is the problem that we have a President that uses his twitter account to lash out at critics, using it as the central one-way propaganda platform enabling a complete lack of accountability.

    • Barry William Teske

      I’d like “one way propaganda platform enabling a complete lack of accountability” for free please Alex.

    • Natty Enquirer

      Neither. The problem is that millions of saps think it’s a dependable source of information.

      • Cuberly Deux

        Well, the MSM is a bunch of saps. Again, it’s the one-way nature of it.

        Elevating the platform is astoundingly dangerous to begin with. In Trump’s hands it’s no longer social media it’s a megaphone.

        • Natty Enquirer

          I don’t think the MSM is stupid. They repeat Twitter because it’s popular and people love rumor. It sells clicks.

      • leastyebejudged

        And that it’s OK for a US company to hire cheap employees overseas instead of the literally hundreds of thousands of Americans qualified to do those jobs.

  • Barry William Teske

    Star Wars.
    It is everywhere.

  • Barry William Teske

    In other news: Ivanka Trump is going to give a lecture (personal account) on using email for official business.

    I am not sure what it is I did there…unusual formatting?

  • Gigi

    This is what upsets me about my bank. I call in for help and I end up talking to call center in India. Who’s protecting my sensitive data? Not the part-time contract working making $1 an hour.

    • Barry William Teske

      I’d like ‘not my bank’ for an undisclosed amount please Alex…

    • leastyebejudged

      Maybe you should drop your bank and do business with one that isn’t unethical.

      It’s your fucking responsibility to.

      • ScubaBearLA

        But is there such a thing as an ethical bank? They’re all pretty scummy.
        Savings & Loans were more community focused, until they had their big scandal & bail out in the 80s. Now if you want even semi-ethical, you’re probably looking at a credit union.

      • SDG

        No need to be rude. They could also join a credit union!

    • SDG

      1. Credit Union!

      2. You made my day, I just found the ONE thing that does not TOTALLY suck, living in a small country where no one else speaks your language!!! They can’t outsource the call centers!

  • Friday’s_cat

    Contract workers, this time it was a useless social media site. What happens if it were a pharmaceutical company or a defense contractor?

  • Lars Littlefield

    Today’s object lesson: Never piss off a Kelly Girl.

    • JCF

      Heh, I was once one of those!

  • TampaZeke

    I nominate this person for the Medal of Freedom award to be awarded by the next President.

  • DoctorDJ

    “… well as other technology companies that rely on large amounts of contract workers to handle sensitive work.”

    NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.

    “…companies that rely on large NUMBERS of contract workers to handle sensitive work.”

    If you have units that can’t be subdivided, such as people, you have “numbers” of them, not “amounts. “ has spoken.

  • leastyebejudged

    Because Twitter can’t find qualified people in the USA to do those jobs, right ?

    Stop using platforms and stop promoting corporations that destroy America.

  • Gianni

    The tweets stop and suddenly there’s panic. What does this say about us?

  • wds

    Well, of course Twitter is taking it seriously – that way they don’t have to deal with the millions of bots/phony accounts, the threats people get, the doxxing that goes on … SMH … They like Facebook really seem to be tripping over their own feet these days and it couldn’t happen to a better bunch of schmucks (using the old Yiddish definition of the word) …

  • DonnaLee

    Too bad it couldn’t have been down longer, but I’m sure more than one person is watching this particular account at any given time.