Remember those few short minutes in early November when you finally felt a sense of peace? Those 11 minutes were when Donald Trump's Twitter was mysteriously deactivated, and now we know who was behind it. But Bahtiyar Duysak, the guy who shut down Trump's Twitter, according to a report from TechCrunch, doesn't feel like he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize that the collective internet has nominated him for. He claims that he was just doing his job — and it happened to lead to the temporary removal of the president's Twitter profile.
“I didn’t hack anyone. I didn’t do anything that I was not authorized to do,” Duysak told TechCrunch in an interview in his home country of Germany. “I didn’t go to any site I was not supposed to go to. I didn’t break any rules.”
The day that it happened was Duysak's last day working at Twitter's Trust and Safety division as a contractor, and his position would have granted him administrator rights in the Twitter system — exactly what you would need to delete any given user's account. Part of his job was dealing with reports of misbehavior on Twitter, so when a user reported Trump in Duysak's final hours on the job, Duysak said that he set the process in motion to delete Trump's account and then closed his computer, never imagining that it would actually happen.
"It’s all about a number of coincidences, with very, very little probabilities that randomly occurred on my last day," Duysak told TechCrunch, explaining how the account was temporarily shutdown. It was a "mistake," he said, not part of some overarching political plan. According to Duysak, he thought that Twitter had protections against one employee — in this case, him — from deleting such prominent accounts.
“I had a wild time in America,” Duysak said in his interview. “I was tired sometimes. And everyone can do mistakes. I did a mistake.”
He only found out about the whole mess when a woman came and started asking him about it. This was only the beginning of the incessant media hounding of himself and his friends and family that would eventually prompt him to give TechCrunch the interview.
“I want to continue an ordinary life. I don’t want to flee from the media,” Duysak 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.”
Duysak, who was in the United States on a work and study visa, has now returned to Germany, and TechCrunch reports that he doesn't plan on going back into the tech industry anytime soon. In many ways, Duysak represents an antithesis to Trump — he's a German of Turkish descent, who according to his LinkedIn profile speaks five languages and has studied at three different universities in three countries. Not only does Duysak have connections to the Muslim community, he's also a true global citizen, a product and beneficiary of globalization.
Trump, on the other hand, has put himself at odds with both globalization and the Muslim community, tweeting out a series of anti-Muslim propaganda videos on Wednesday. His slogan, America First, refers in part to his isolationist, anti-globalization stance. And while Trump hasn't said much on higher education, Republicans don't view it very favorably anymore — and the latest GOP tax plan would directly attack graduate funding.
Duysak, however, didn't express any animosity toward Trump in his interview with TechCrunch, and in fact he was wearing a sweater with an American flag pattern.
"I love Twitter,” Duysak said, “and I love America.”