There is now an end to the mystery of a nonsensical tweet issued by US Strategic Command.
The military agency, also known as USSTRATCOM, is responsible for nuclear operations, global strike management and missile defense, among other duties, sent out a strange message via its Twitter account on March 28.
The tweet, simply “;l;;gmlxzssaw,” was liked and retweeted thousands of times and prompted over 1,500 comments in query.
While the message was rapidly deleted and the agency asked its followers to disregard the message, journalist Mikael Thalen from the Daily Dot filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for additional details concerning the tweet.
In response to the FOIA request, the agency told Thalen that the US Strategic Command’s Twitter manager, while working from home, left his post for a moment and the account was, unfortunately, open.
What happened next would make any parent currently working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic groan: his “very young” child “took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys, and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet,” according to the FOIA response.
When high-profile Twitter accounts start tweeting out nonsense or dubious messages — such as the infamous hijacking of celebrity accounts to promote a cryptocurrency scam in July 2020, there may be the concern that the profiles are under the control of unauthorized individuals.
While the child in question certainly seized control of the account, even momentarily and — no doubt — without permission, the agency was keen to emphasize that there was nothing “nefarious” and no hacking took place.
“The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically,” US Strategic Command added.
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