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Trump speaks with reporters before departing the White House for a trip to Asia. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

For several minutes on Thursday, the world was safe from President Trump's tweets. In what the social network company said was a move made by a customer service rep of their last day of work, Trump's personal Twitter account was deactivated for 11 minutes. The move prompted a lot of joking, but it's actually not a laughing matter. Some have argued that the president should be banned for violating the social network's terms of service, and certainly a case could be made for that.

Our thought bubble: But seeing the account temporarily deleted by a single rogue worker is actually quite troubling. This president uses it as a primary means of communication. Imagine if this had happened in the midst of a crisis, mid-tweet-storm.

Many were already worried that an ill-conceived Trump tweet could spark World War III, but last night reminded us that we could also be one disgruntled Twitter employee away from a similar fate.

It's an especially important question for Twitter. Facebook and Google may make a lot more money, but more often Twitter is the place where news breaks and where official proclamations are made, especially in the Trump era.

The bottom line: To be sure, the White House bears much of the blame for making Twitter the place to find official policy statements, but it is now Twitter's burden to ensure that its platform can live up to that responsibility.

A BuzzFeed post reported that Twitter considered, but decided against, requiring heightened security to access high-profile accounts. Now might be the time to rethink that.

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

11 hours ago - Economy & Business

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 12 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.