Rudy Giuliani blamed Twitter for his tweet calling Donald Trump a ‘traitor’. Here’s why he’s wrong – Donald Trump’s America
US President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani is not backing away from this tweet:
On the surface it seems like a pretty standard attack on special counsel Robert Mueller for issuing an indictment just as Donald Trump was heading to the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.
But if you look closely, you’ll see he’s inadvertently enabled a hyperlink in ‘G-20.In’, which takes you to a site calling Donald J Trump a “traitor to our country”.
Rudy Giuliani’s tweet links out to a site calling Donald J Trump a “traitor to our country”. (Supplied)
It was a pretty awkward look for the man who serves as the White House’s cybersecurity adviser, and was quickly picked up on social media.
Some time today, the personal lawyer of the @potus will realize that the missing space in his tweet meant he created a G-20.in URL (because .in is a top level domain name; thanks, India!) that links to a page stating “@realDonaldTrump is a traitor to our country.”
How was the link created?
Mr Giuliani had left out a space between sentences, inadvertently creating a hyperlink to an Indian-based website.
This was interpreted by Twitter as a hyperlink because it automatically recognises the letters after a full stop as representing an established top-level domain (TLD) name.
The hyperlink was quickly exploited by prankster and digital marketing director Jason Velazquez.
He told the New York Times that he spotted the link in Mr Giuliani’s tweet, realised no-one owned the domain and paid $US5 to buy it.
Within 15 minutes, he had created a page that displayed a simple message “Donald J Trump is a traitor to our country”.
“I wanted something … bold,” Mr Velazquez told the Washington Post.
“Certainly, something that [Mr Giuliani] would not want to be linked from his tweet.”
And what does Twitter have to do with this?
Nothing. But Mr Giuliani has blamed the social media platform for the error, accusing it of bias.
Twitter allowed someone to invade my text with a disgusting anti-President message. The same thing-period no space-occurred later and it didn’t happen. Don’t tell me they are not committed cardcarrying anti-Trumpers. Time Magazine also may fit that description. FAIRNESS PLEASE
He’s not the first person to accuse a social media platform of being biased against conservatives, but the accusation was regarded by some as a “conspiracy theory”.
Hey “cyber czar,” here’s how it worked. 1. YOU accidentally tweeted a URL that didn’t exist. 2. Someone bought that URL and sent it to a web page. 3. YOU left the tweet up. Twitter had nothing to do with it. There was no invasion
A Twitter spokesman said the company can’t edit users’ tweets and “the accusation that we’re artificially injecting something into a tweet is completely false”.
So why doesn’t he just delete the tweet?
It would be the simplest option, but as of Thursday Mr Giuliani’s tweet — which has been liked more than 47,000 times and retweeted more than 17,000 times — is still up.
Mr Velazquez has offered up this reason for why it hasn’t been deleted.
He told the Washington Post that “would mean that I forced him to delete it”.
“It’s a hilarious Catch-22. Either I affect what his message is, or I affect what his message is,” he said.
But Mr Giuliani has previously opted to not delete tweets even if they have been mistakenly sent or contained typos.
Earlier this year, he simply tweeted the word “you”. It was regarded as a mistake but the tweet remains live, four months on.