The identity of the Twitter contractor that temporarily deleted President Trump’s Twitter account has finally been revealed. He claims the deletion was an “accident.”
TechCrunch reports that the identity of the Twitter contractor employee behind the temporary deletion of President Trump’s account has been revealed — Bahtiyar Duysak, a German native of Turkish descent who worked on Twitter’s Trust and Safety operations team. Duysak began working on Twitter’s council as a contractor in July 2017 before leaving the company in November 2017, around the time that the President’s Twitter account was temporarily disabled.
Duysak, who was born and raised in Germany but is of Turkish descent, was working in the U.S. under a work and study visa. Duysak also worked for other Silicon Valley tech firms including YouTube and Google, and at the time was working as a customer support agent on Twitter’s Trust and Safety operations team where he dealt with complaints from users of bad behavior, offensive or illegal tweets, harassment, impersonation, and other matters.
Duysak told TechCrunch that his last day at Twitter was mostly uneventful, right up until the end of his shift when he received a notification about one of President Trump’s tweets. One of the President’s tweets had been reported by a user, after which Duysak decided to begin the process of suspending President Trump’s twitter account. Duysak then closed down his workstation and left the company for good. Duysak has described the account suspension as an “accident,” saying that he didn’t believe the account deletion would actually go through, but ultimately it did.
Duysak says that he’s not worried if there is a further investigation into the account as legally he believes he has done nothing wrong. “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.” According to Duysak’s legal defense, he is not currently under investigation by the FBI although Twitter has questioned his actions further, Duysak has not replied to the company.
Following Duysak’s action, Twitter announced they would be conducting a full internal investigation into what happened and would be adding safeguards to prevent similar incidents in the future. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discussed the companies weaknesses that allowed the suspension to take place in an interview with the New York Times, and also the company’s “newsworthiness clause” that was created after the incident involving Duysak which states that a tweet that violates Twitters rules may be left up if it is of public interest.
“We have implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again,” reads a tweet from the Twitter Government account. “We won’t be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it.”
TechCrunch spoke to Duysak in his home country of Germany where he agreed to come forward and discuss his reasons for deleting the President’s Twitter account and to clear the air surrounding the whole situation. “I want to continue an ordinary life. I don’t want to flee from the media,” said Duysak. “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.”
Duysak said that the media attention surrounding him since the event has been quite stressful on him and his family, “I didn’t do any crime or anything evil, but I feel like Pablo Escobar,” he said, “and slowly it’s getting really annoying.”
TechCrunch’s full video interview with Duysak can be seen below,