The news moves at Internet speed and stories often depart our consciousness as fast as they flash over our screens, but few of us will forget where we were when, for eleven brief-but-glorious minutes, Donald Trump — the all caps king, the exclamation point potus — was deleted from Twitter; giving a us an ephemeral respite from the past SAD! ten months, a welcome reprieve during which we could ENJOY! the fantasy that this near year of social media trolling from the Oval Office had merely been an illusion; a Shakespearean-level tragicomedy concocted in the less forgiving recesses of our slumbering minds — perchance just a bad dream, one that, had he lived during this era, Sigmund Freud might have interpreted as: Fake News.
Alas, it was no such thing, a reality slapped across our face by the tiny tapping thumbs of he whose account had re-emerged: “My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee.” (That this was a true statement was surely intended to make us think the account was in someone else’s normal-sized hands. But no such luck. This one went to minute 11, but no further.) From AP: Trump’s brief Twitter outage prompts cheers, concerns.
Like the notion that “that all men are created equal” the reason for the cheers is self evident. The reason for concern is less obvious, but worth noting. Imagine for a moment that another rogue employee were to take control of the presidential Twitter account and use it to wantonly harass private citizens, belittle Senators with slander and catchy nicknames, attack Gold Star families, spread mistruths and propaganda concocted by our enemies, defame former US presidents, taunt foreign leaders and threaten war with nuclear-armed adversaries, or even go so far as to call into question the rule of law with constant attacks on judges and law enforcement agencies.
That could be really bad.