For 11 minutes on the night of November 2, the world was quieter, less raucous, more full of peace. Could you feel it? Probably not, but only because you never know what you have until it’s gone. As many will recognize, it was Trump’s Twitter account that was deactivated for 11 blissful minutes on November 2, and even though Twitter claimed it happened as a result on human error, the previously unknown person who gave Earth 11 minutes of peace has been hailed as a national hero. But his exact identity has remained elusive. Until now.
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.— Twitter Government (@TwitterGov) November 3, 2017
In an interview with TechCrunch back in his home country of Germany, Bahtiyar Duysak explained just how it all happened, but it’s not nearly as exciting as the stories we’ve all been making up in our heads about it. In fact, Dusyak maintains it was a simple mistake.
Dusyak had been working in customer support in the Trust and Safety division of the company. He’d been a contract worker and November 2 was his last day working at Twitter, and even though he said many goodbyes, he also made a point to keep working until the end of the day. Towards the end of his shift, Duslyak received an alert: someone had reported Trump’s account. As a response, he began the process of deactivation. The day ended, and he went home. Somehow, Trump’s account was actually deactivated—even though his account is protected against just that by Twitter, due to the platform's insistence that his tweets are always newsworthy.
“In my opinion, it was definitely a mistake,” Dusyak said in a video interview. “I apologize if I hurt anyone, I didn’t do anything on purpose.”
But Dusyak also claims he “had a wild time in America” and its possible that he did indeed commit the strangely celebrated mistake. But how could it have happened?
“I think it's all about a number of coincidences, very very little probabilities which all occurred on my last day of work,” he explains. But he also is very clear that not only was his act not malicious, but it was also not illegal. “I didn’t hack anyone. I didn’t do anything which I wasn’t authorized to do. I didn’t do any crime,” he insists.
Dusyak is aware that the only reason it even became a huge event was because of the very specific set of circumstances that had to be in place at the right time. And it’s not just the tech stuff. Trump’s characteristic horribleness turns into major controversy and, in turn, fuels headlines, which has fueled the intense media scrutiny on Dusyak himself. But Dusyak's "mistake" also did not appear to be politically motivated or an act against Trump as a public figure.
"He is a very successful person, and I admire his hard work and how he made it to get the highest position," Duysak said. "But I think he needs to learn a little as a politician."
Dusyak claims reporters have been stalking him, adding friends and family of his on social media in an attempt to contact him. He has therefore been forced to delete friends and photos, and he “just want[s] to continue ordinary life” outside of the limelight.
“I’m the unlucky or lucky man who has found himself in the situation where millions of Americans would like to be at,” Dusyak admits.
Me @ the Twitter employee responsible for deactivating Donald Trump’s account. pic.twitter.com/GOa527BERY— ☃️ A.R.E.1 ☃️ (@grumpymoiras) November 3, 2017
As for the overwhelmingly positive attention that his fortuitous mistake has brought him, Dusyak remains humble. “For me its just a coincidence,” he insists. Some have hailed him as a national hero, while still others have gone as far as to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Does he think he deserves that kind of honor?
“It should be accepted by then who deserves it,” he says. “I’m sure that I do not deserve to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”