Julian Assange's Twitter account briefly vanished

Julian Assange's Twitter account briefly vanished

Julian Assange

Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Julian Assange.

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's Twitter account was deleted for a few hours on Sunday but returned Monday morning.
  • The US Navy was also roped into the confusion when it inadvertently sent out a tweet with Assange's name in quotes, which was quickly deleted.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disappeared from Twitter for a while on Sunday.

From somewhere around 8 p.m. ET on December 24, any attempts to view his Twitter account resulted in an error message saying the page did not exist.

Assange's brief disappearance from the social media platform attracted attention. By mid-day on December 25, his name was trending on Twitter, and his account reappeared shortly after. The account seemed to be missing its followers at first, but they re-emerged gradually as well.

It's unclear whether the mix-up originated from Assange's end of Twitter's.

Twitter declined to officially comment on the matter.

In November, President Donald Trump's account was briefly deactivated by a rogue employee on his last day of work, who later said the whole situation was a mistake. Twitter has since said it has put safeguards in place to prevent a recurrence of the same situation. 

The US Navy was inadvertently roped into the confusion as well. Early Monday morning, the navy sent out a tweet from its official Twitter account with Assange's full name in quotes.

The tweet was quickly deleted, and the navy said in a statement on Twitter shortly after: "This morning, an inadvertent keystroke by an authorized user of the U.S. Navy Office of Information's Digital Media Engagement Team caused the trending term 'Julian Assange' to be tweeted from the Navy's official Twitter account (@USNavy)."

It continued in a second tweet, "The inadvertent tweet was briefly posted for a few second before it was quickly deleted by the same authorized user. The inadvertent tweet was sent during routine monitoring of trending topics."

The mix-up didn't go unnoticed by WikiLeaks. "Despite some oddities from the US Navy and Twitter today and increased physical surveillance @JulianAssange's physical situation at the embassy remains unaltered--confined without charge in violation of two UN rulings requiring the UK to set him free," WikiLeaks said.