WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's personal Twitter account disappeared for a while on December 24, only to resurface a few hours later with a video showing a bouncing Corgi pup.
The account seemed to have gone offline at around 7:00 pm ET on Christmas Eve with no indication of why it had vanished, and attempts to access the page during the brief outage resulted in a "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!" message. Assange's account was down just long enough to attract some attention, so much so, that Assange's name was trending on Twitter on Christmas day. But his account reappeared shortly afterwards.
Assange's account is back up again, though his follower count appeared to have dipped below 10,000 initially. The newly restored account posted a donation solicitation, with a short video of a jumping Corgi.
2018. https://t.co/A46UtYGiq5 pic.twitter.com/gmUHn3Z4Zq— Julian Assange ? (@JulianAssange) December 25, 2017
It is not clear whether the 46-year-old decided to erase it or the social media site chose to delete his account. Either way, it may have been pulled off for a reason. A CBS news report says that another "unverified" account claiming to be an alternative to Assange's showed up in the absence of the verified account, suggesting the original was deleted to attract a good deal of publicity ahead of a blockbuster WikiLeaks release. The unverified account has since been suspended from Twitter.
Here's what a Twitter user posted on whether Assange removed his account just to "get our attention."
Could @JulianAssange have deleted his acct; then reactivated it to get our attention? Perhaps he needs our attention for some very important information. After all... He now has the Floor, Doesn’t he? #Qanon— Patriot Mom?? (@noevils) December 26, 2017
And here's another one...
I hope everyone realizes that Julian Assange de-activated his own account, it wasn’t suspended by Twitter. It looks a lot like a publicity stunt.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) December 26, 2017
Meanwhile, this isn't the first time a high-profile political account has briefly disappeared from Twitter. Last month, on November 2, US President Donald Trump's personal Twitter account disappeared for several minutes before being restored later on. It was later found that a Twitter customer support employee had deactivated the President's account on his last day at work.