Bahtiyar Duysak revealed his identity as the Twitter employee who briefly deleted US President Donald Trump’s account, in an interview with TechCrunch. Bahtiyar Duysak deleted Trump’s account for a total of 11 minutes when he was working as a contractor in Twitter’s Trust and Safety division on the customer support team.
Duysak told TechCrunch that on his last day at the company, a Twitter user reported Trump’s account, and he then took the step to deactivate it, not expecting it would actually happen.
“I didn’t hack anyone. I didn’t do anything that I was not authorized to do,” he told TechCrunch. “I didn’t go to any site I was not supposed to go to. I didn’t break any rules.”
At the time of the incident, Twitter released a statement saying it was conducting an internal review of the situation. TechCrunch confirmed that the FBI is not investigating Duysak over the action. Twitter declined to confirm to TechCrunch that Duysak was the employee responsible.
Duysak was hailed as a hero by Twitter users, with many joking that he should win Time’s Person of the Year or the Nobel Peace Prize.
Duysak is of Turkish descent and was born and lives in Germany, but told TechCrunch, “I love America.”
Duysak told TechCrunch that he was coming forward because he wants to live an “ordinary life.”
“I want to continue an ordinary life. I don’t want to flee from the media,” he said. “I want to speak to my neighbors and friends. I had to delete hundreds of friends, so many pictures, because reporters are stalking me. I just want to continue an ordinary life.”
“I didn’t do any crime or anything evil, but I feel like Pablo Escobar,” Duysak said, “and slowly it’s getting really annoying.”
Bahtiyar Duysak had previously worked as a contractor for other tech companies, including YouTube. He indicated on his LinkedIn page that he was temporarily employed at Twitter through the contracting service Pro Unlimited, which provides staffing services to dozens of Silicon Valley companies for tasks like content review.
Duysak has a master’s in banking and finance from University of Birmingham in England and finished a postgraduate program at California State University, East Bay, in Hayward, California. Duysak was also head of the university’s Turkish Student Association. His Facebook page said he was a member of the school’s startup scene, while another related post showed him as a former volunteer security guard at a Bay Area Muslim community center.
Twitter has faced backlash for not suspending Trump’s account after some controversial tweets that appear to violate their terms of service, saying that Trump’s tweets are “newsworthy,” however offensive.
On Wednesday, Trump faced major backlash after retweeting a series of videos from a British far-right group that purported to show Muslims committing violent acts.
EARLIER : Twitter Now Says Employee Deactivated Trump’s Account On Last Day Of Work – Bahtiyar Duysak Twitter has updated it’s earlier statement on Trump’s deactivated, and later restored account. Apparently this does appear to be a delibrate act.
“Through our investigation we have learned that this was done by a Twitter customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day. We are conducting a full internal review.” twitter wrote in an update.
Remi Francoeur @RemiFrancoeur1 : Courage of his convictions. He went out with a bang
PJ O’Neil @pithyPJ : HEY, can we get this rogue ex-employee to be the next Chief of Staff? He’s the only one able to de-tweet Donny T
Rachel Jewell : What would you do on your last day?!
Greg Cope WhiteVerified account @eatgregeat : Mouth kiss for the person that, on their last day at work, for 11 minutes, unplugged Trump’s twitter
Nicole Meyers @Nicolempls83 : Kudos to the former @twitter employee that did this. U may no longer work there but you won life in my eyes.
Jesse Knight @JesseByKnight : He’s not the hero we deserve, but he’s the hero we need right now. So @Twitter will hunt him. Because he can take it. He’s our silent guardian, a watchful protector, a Dark Knight.
Jackie Davis @PepperD62 : Probably the single best contribution to the job. I’m pretty sure he/she will be able to get whatever job they want.
ElleDe @SetDaWorldAfire : Told you it wasn’t an error
Rick Givens @RickGivens : There is an unsung hero. Not all insider threats are bad guys.
Annie H Hartnett @anniehnet : I would like to thank you, anonymous Twitter customer support employee, for giving us all a moment’s peace.
realSatiricalVixen @SatiricalVixen : “Trump’s Twitter” shut down for 11 minutes today. Best 11 minutes of 2017.
season of the witch @golddust27 : “We can be heroes; just for 11 minutes”
Jonathan Jones @_jonathansjones : #TFW those 11 holy minutes Trump’s twitter was expelled… we can have that in 2020 (maybe 2018?). Just throwing that out there.
Remi Francoeur @RemiFrancoeur1 : Courage of his convictions. He went out with a bang.
CharlFolscher @charlfolscher : I want to give a medal to THAT ex Twitter employee. What a way to finish.
Allison Woody @alliwood92 : Not all heroes wear capes.
Warren Murray @WarrenNMurray : Flipped the bird, cracked a beer, triggered the emergency slide and jumped straight into our hearts.
Sriram Sripada @sriramsripada : For some reason this reminds of the man in front of the tank in #Tiananmen square. History will remember you fondly.
Wendy L. Wilson @WendyLWilson_ : Shout out to the #Twitter employee responsible for shutting down THAT MAN’s account on his/her last day. You are a hero.
PattyO @_MamaPat : If only it was permanent.
Doug Tayek @dougtayek : And the Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to: (insert #twitter employee here). They’re a national hero.
EARLIER: Twitter Employee Mistakenly Deactivates Trump’s Account , Restored – Twitter has confirmed in a statement that it’s employee deactivated President Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account by mistake, thursday evening :
“Earlier today @realdonaldtrump’s account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee. The account was down for 11 minutes, and has since been restored. We are continuing to investigate and are taking steps to prevent this from happening again.”
The Commander in Chief’s ‘@realDonaldTrump‘ page could not be accessed for several minutes but his ‘@POTUS’ account remained unaffected.
The outspoken US president has 41.7 million followers on his personal Twitter account, from which he blasts his most controversial and attention-grabbing comments — often in the form of early morning “tweetstorms.”
Trump’s official White House account, @POTUS, which has 20.9 million followers, was apparently not affected.
Trump did not tweet about his account’s vanishing act, but after it was restored made a post about his party’s tax plan.
Social media users questioned if Twitter suspended his account, or perhaps it was a hack.
I was there for the great vanishing of Donald Trump’s Twitter account. Nov 2, 2017. — Justin Jacobs (@justinjacobs) November 2, 2017
lol did trump leave twitter — David Sims (@davidlsims) November 2, 2017
Did someone end TRUMP on TWITTER? — Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) November 2, 2017
We’ll all remember where we were during the 10 minutes of peace while Donald Trump’s Twitter account was down. — Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) November 2, 2017
Woah, President Trump’s Twitter page won’t open. A glitch or intentional⁉️ — LIZ THE?IS COMING? (@LizCrokin) November 2, 2017
Nfinit @Nfinit : Trump’s twitter account vanishing and then reappearing moments later is the best evidence yet that the events of the past 2 years are the result of warring sects of time travellers.
Cabel SasserVerified account @cabel : @jack I need to very seriously tell you that the 70 seconds that Trump’s twitter account went away were the happiest 70 seconds of my year.
George TakeiVerified account @GeorgeTakei : Trump’s Twitter deactivated for 11 min, and I suddenly thought I’d jumped back into the real timeline where things aren’t so damned absurd.
Rich Goeckel @RichGoeckel : Trump’s Twitter was down for 11 min due to human error by a Twitter employee. If ever a Twitter employee deserved a promotion, it’s today.
Aaron VallelyVerified account @Vallmeister : The employee who disabled Trump’s Twitter account should be given their own national holiday.
Luisa Haynes @wokeluisa : We’ll never forget the 10 minutes of peace while Donald Trump’s Twitter account was down.
Rob M. | Tokkan @tokkanram : For the briefest of moments, Donald Trump’s twitter was deactivated. And there was rejoicing. Then it was reactivated, and we despaired.
Jer-Jer @DALLASNITES : Whoever deleted Trump’s Twitter account is a f*****g national hero