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The official ICE Twitter account temporarily disappeared then reappeared

An unidentified Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportation officer. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
November 12, 2020

On Thursday, the Twitter account for ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency disappeared and in its place was a page saying the account doesn’t exist. Hours later, the ICE account reappeared.

On Thursday, ICE’s tweets, profile and banner photos, and account biography were gone, but the account has since reappeared and those features have returned.

It is not clear why the account disappeared. A few possibilities could be that the account could have been hacked, ICE could have removed it themselves or Twitter could have removed it.

A Twitter spokesperson, responding to an American Military News request for comment, said, “Twitter requires people using the service to be 13 years of age or older. If an account’s birthdate is changed to a day/month/year prior to that and our systems identify content posted by the account before they were 13 years old, they will be locked out of the account. The account has been reinstated.”

Following the ICE Twitter account’s return, the agency tweeted, “We’re back! No hackers, no rogue employees. We had a technical glitch and we appreciate the Twitter team’s help in bringing us back online. Stay tuned here for more great news about the work that the men and women of ICE do every day to protect the homeland.”

ICE has not yet responded to an American Military News request for comment.

The temporary disappearance of the ICE Twitter account caught attention across Twitter on Thursday.

Newsweek editor-at-large Naveed Jamali tweeted, “ICE’s twitter account has been deleted.”

MSNBC host Joy Reid tweeted, “Weird… ICE’s Twitter Account Appears to Have Been Disabled.”

Immigration lawyer Greg Siskind tweeted, “@ejtaub and @LilySAxelrod just let me know that ICE’s Twitter account has disappeared. Any government accountability experts know if deleting an agency’s account is legal? Seems like all those tweets are public records and need to be retained and accessible. @DLind FYI.”