Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey had his Twitter account suspended briefly Tuesday evening, sometime around 6 p.m. PST. The suspension lasted just minutes, but was not resolved fast enough to avoid lots of screenshots. As New York Times technology reporter and avid tweeter Mike Isaac put it:
::sees someone twete photo of jack Dorsey account suspension::— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) November 23, 2016
"i could RT, or i could do my own screencap and say exactly the same thing"
He later broke down and took his own screenshot (above).Gizmodo and others who were quick to notice the problem have reached out to Twitter for comment.
Isaac later quipped that the event had "all the thrills of a low speed golf car chase." At roughly that speed, Dorsey's millions of followers, which had been wiped out by the refresh, came back.
But for others, the experience might have provided the rush of executing a good wedgie. The suspension of Dorsey's account comes suspiciously soon after the San Francisco-based company suspended the accounts of several alt-right (read: white nationalist nazi asshole) leaders including that of Richard Spencer. Spencer, you may have noticed, led 200 white men in Nazi salutes at an (((alt-right))) conference in Washington this week. “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory!” they chanted according to the Atlantic.
To quote just one gloating Twitter user whose profile features him in a "Make America Great Again" hat:
To me, this has the thrills of a zero-sum game that unsettles our sense of what's real or fake, news or propaganda, lie or big fat lie. Earlier this month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's own Facebook profile incorrectly indicated that he had died. Many other users also experienced the error, which generated a "memorial" page for people who were not, in fact, deceased. That highly visible mistake threatened to further erode user confidence in the platform after the company has been taken to the woodshed over the proliferation of influential "fake news" on its platform.
Dorsey updates us that he is alive and that the account suspension was a mistake:
just setting up my twttr again (account suspension was an internal mistake)— 🚶🏽jack (@jack) November 23, 2016
Let's hope so.
Update: The alt-right spent the evening delighting in Twitter's gaffe, with some digging into Dorsey's tweet history to come up with tweets from 2006 in which a young Dorsey was indulging in some Salman Rushdie, talking about sitting at home with pasta and reading The Satanic Verses which of course the alt-right doesn't know is a famous novel that is not about Satan. Heavy.com, which also sounds unfamiliar with Rushdie's novel the same novel about the prophet Mohammed that once incited a fatwa from the Ayatollah Khomeini and sparked rage from pious Muslims surmises that Dorsey talking about satanic verses could have gotten him caught up in an algorithm.
Or, they suggest, his account was hacked, and Twitter had to suspend it in order to deal with the hack.
Making the good pasta, reading through some amazing parts of the satanic verses; the (golden) threads begin to intertwine...— 🚶🏽jack (@jack) May 24, 2006
@jack you got jacked by your own algorithms..— FriendlySmoker ™© (@Friendlysmoker) November 23, 2016