The rogue Twitter employee who briefly deactivated US President Donald Trump's account and triggered an uproar earlier this month has finally revealed his identity in an interview with TechCrunch.
Bahtiyar Duysak, a "twenty-something with Turkish roots who was born and raised in Germany", was working as a contractor for a fixed term as he neared the end of his stay in the US under a work and study visa.
He was assigned to customer support as part of Twitter's Trust and Safety division. This team receives alerts from users reporting bad behaviour that violate the company's rules including offensive tweets and harassment, "performs triage on complaints" and determines what steps need to be taken to address the issue.
On his last day at the company, a Twitter user reported Trump's account. Duysak then took the step to deactivate it, closed his computer and left the building. However, the former employee said he never believed it was actually possible to deactivate the president's account and described the event as a "mistake."
"I didn't hack anyone. I didn't do anything that I was not authorized to do," he told TechCrunch in Germany. "I didn't go to any site I was not supposed to go to. I didn't break any rules."
At the time of the incident, Twitter released a statement saying Trump's account was "inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee" and that it was conducting a full internal review of the issue. It later insisted that it has "implemented safeguards to prevent this from happening again."
"We won't be able to share all details about our internal investigation or updates to our security measures, but we take this seriously and our teams are on it," the company said.
Trump often takes to Twitter to weigh in on current events, push his agenda and attack critics and rivals and make inflammatory statements. Many have also called for Trump to be banned from Twitter, particularly after his controversial tweet threatening North Korea amid the escalating nuclear crisis between the US and Pyongyang.
However, Twitter has said the president's tweets are "newsworthy" and in the public's interest.
On Wednesday, Trump sparked a major backlash after retweeting a number of videos from a British far-right group that allegedly showed Muslims committing acts of violence.
After his account was temporarily deactivated on 2 November for 11 minutes, Twitter erupted with confusion, joy and in many cases, relief. Many people also called for the employee responsible to be given the Nobel Peace Prize.
Duysak said he decided to come forward to clear the air and "continue an ordinary life."
"I want to continue an ordinary life. I don't want to flee from the media," he 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.
"I didn't do any crime or anything evil, but I feel like Pablo Escobar and slowly it's getting really annoying."
He added: "In my opinion, it was definitely a mistake and I apologize if I hurt anyone."
Trump has yet to respond to the revelation of the person behind it.