That is the way in which the world ends: not with a bang however a deleted Twitter account.

At the least, so it appeared for 11 minutes Thursday night, when guests to President Trump’s private account, @realDonaldTrump, have been knowledgeable that there was no such factor.

The error message on some gadgets was much more dire: “@realDonaldTrump doesn’t exist.”

Amid a presidency that has appeared, at occasions, to be performed primarily in 140-character items, this was a seismic occasion — and what was left of Twitter erupted. It was a raucous, modern-day town-square gathering of the kind not seen since … nicely, since 5 months in the past, when Mr. Trump coined a brand new phrase in the midst of the night time.

It was simply earlier than 7 p.m. Thursday, and the web was in an uproar. Time stopped. The solar rose within the west and set within the east. What, the watchers puzzled, was happening? Had Twitter closed the president’s account? Had a White Home aide snatched the telephone from Mr. Trump’s tweeting fingers? Had Robert Mueller chosen this second to rifle by way of the president’s direct messages? Had Mr. Trump himself — may or not it’s? — determined he’d had sufficient of his favourite medium?

The reply, revealed three hours later, was one thing straight out of “Workplace Area.” After saying in an preliminary assertion that the account had been “inadvertently deactivated as a result of human error by a Twitter worker,” Twitter introduced rogue buyer help employee had finished it on his or her final day on the firm.

Lots of Mr. Trump’s supporters have been incensed, with some saying the incident confirmed a disregard free of charge speech. His opponents, then again, have been gleeful. “America: Rent this individual,” former Consultant John Dingell of Michigan tweeted.

Even earlier than Twitter confirmed that the deactivation had been deliberate, some have been speculating about it.

Within the tech world, the assertion raised extra questions than it answered. Twitter has by no means stated what number of workers have entry to Mr. Trump’s account, or described the safeguards it has in place for its highest-profile customers. And the corporate is already beneath the microscope in Washington, the place Congress is investigating how know-how giants might need formed the result of the 2016 presidential election.

Mr. Trump was locked out for simply 11 minutes, after which, simply as out of the blue, he was again. These watching discovered themselves unscathed — although some couldn’t fairly shake a way of dread.

The president himself obtained again to enterprise as if nothing had occurred, tweeting at eight:05 p.m.: “Nice Tax Minimize rollout at this time. The lobbyists are storming Capital Hill, however the Republicans will maintain robust and do what is correct for America!” He then fired off 4 extra tweets, denouncing the Democratic Nationwide Committee and James B. Comey earlier than inviting viewers to observe his interview with Laura Ingraham on Fox Information.

And so, again within the places of work and houses of the nation, the folks of Twitter may solely sit again and mirror.

For higher or for worse, the world appeared predictable once more, and one consumer made his prediction daring.

“Man,” Alex Zalben wrote, “in like 9 months there’s gonna be a ton of Trump Twitter blackout infants.”

Mike Isaac contributed reporting.

Comply with Maggie Astor on Twitter: @MaggieAstor.

A model of this text seems in print on , on Web page A12 of the New York version with the headline: For 11 Minutes on Twitter, The President Wasn’t There. Order Reprints | At the moment’s Paper | Subscribe


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