The international dangers of bringing children to work were realized when brief fears of a nuclear hack surfaced during the weekend.
A young child, left alone at a keyboard for a moment, hammered away at the keys and produced what seemed to be an unintelligible tweet to the official account of U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) — the people responsible for safeguarding America’s nuclear weapons.
The message? “;l;;gmlxzssaw”
Social media observers, of course, did not miss a chance to speculate what the tweet could mean, from the idea that the account may have been hacked to suggestions that USSTRATCOM, based at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb., had inadvertently sent out a nuclear launch code.
USSTRATCOM is in charge of the military’s nuclear forces.
News website The Daily Dot revealed the accident, after a Freedom of Information request to the agency.
“The Command’s Twitter manager, while in a telework status, momentarily left the Command’s Twitter account open and unattended,” USSTRATCOM’s FOIA officer stated. “His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet.”
The tweet received more than 11,000 retweets before it was deleted a few minutes after it was posted.
“Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred, i.e., no hacking of our Twitter account,” the response continued. “The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically.”
An AFP story reminded readers of a prior misstep from USSTRATCOM:
“In December 2018, referring to the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball-drop in New York, it joked on Twitter about it being prepared to drop something ‘much bigger,’ with a video of a B-2 stealth bomber dropping two bombs to the beat of pulsing music.”
That tweet was deleted and an apology said it had been “in poor taste.”