Here Is the Legendary Twitter Employee Behind the Brief Purge of Trump's Account

Image: Screengrab via Gizmodo
Image: Screengrab via Gizmodo

In the last 24 hours alone, President Donald Trump has used his infamous Twitter account to retweet British fascists’ anti-Islam videos and tag the wrong Theresa May in an angry rant. This is nothing new. The president is one of the site’s worst shitposters—made infinitely worse by the fact that via virtue of his immense personal power, Trump’s very bad tweets translate into almost immediate real-life consequences for everyone but him.

Undoubtedly one of the high points of Trump’s tenure on the site was in early November, when his account was mysteriously nuked off the site after what Twitter described as a “human error by a Twitter employee.” Now, per TechCrunch, we know who that legendary employee was.

It’s Bahtiyar Duysak, “a twenty-something with Turkish roots who was born and raised in Germany,” and who was nearing the end of his fixed work and study visa in the U.S. Duysak was working as a contractor for the Twitter Trust and Safety division’s customer support team, which responds to reports of rule-breaking behavior on the site. According to his side of the story, ruling Trump’s account in violation of the Twitter terms of service was the last thing he ever did at the company:

Someone reported Trump’s account on Duysak’s last day; as a final, throwaway gesture, he put the wheels in motion to deactivate it. Then he closed his computer and left the building.


Duysak told TechCrunch the incident was a “mistake” and the result of a number of low-probability events happening at the same time. He said he never believed it was possible the president’s Twitter could be deactivated, per an internal policy ruling Trump essentially above the rules due to his inherent newsworthiness.

He’s not concerned with legal consequences, telling TechCrunch, “I didn’t hack anyone. I didn’t do anything that I was not authorized to do. I didn’t go to any site I was not supposed to go to. I didn’t break any rules.”

According to TechCrunch, Duysak chose to come forward for a number of reasons; his Turkish roots could be unnecessarily conflated with Trump’s “previous negative statements on immigration and people from predominantly Muslim countries.” He added he would like his life to return somewhat to normal and that he, friends, and family have been hounded by reporters for weeks.

BuzzFeed News separately reported that according to a former senior Twitter employee, “a lot” of staffers had access to administrative functions that would allow them to take accounts offline that it only takes “one click” in the site’s internal dashboard. The same ex-staffer said Twitter had neglected to implement additional controls to prevent the deletion of high-profile accounts.


Unfortunately, Twitter has since insisted it has since “implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again,” meaning Duysak may be the only person who ever gets the chance to ban Trump from the site again. It was probably worth it, though maybe it would have been best to wait until we were on the verge of a ragepost-induced nuclear war or something.



"... An upperclassman who had been researching terrorist groups online." - Washington Post

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Bob The Builder

I do not necessarily disagree with Twitter’s policy that someone who is as newsworthy as Donald Trump essentially is unbannable, but I do wonder if that would have been their policy has Saddam Hussein or Adolf Hitler been prolific twitter posters.

At what point do you become important enough that you cannot be banned from Twitter for your views? Clearly minor celebrities are bannable. What about minor world leaders? Major government officials? I would like Twitter to clarify just what exactly you have to achieve in life to be above the normal rules.