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Bizarre tweet From U.S. Strategic Command that prompted nuke code panic was written by child: report

The tweet was posted when the agency’s Twitter manager momentarily left his computer unattended.

Updated: April 1, 2021 - 12:32pm

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A bizarre post on the Twitter account of the U.S. Strategic Command was apparently written by a child.

USSTRATCOM, in charge of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, prompted concern after releasing a tweet that read: ";l;;gmlxzssaw." 

Some wondered whether it was a nuclear code and prompted a slew of jokes on social media. 

But the tweet turns out to have been an accident.

The Daily Dot filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with USSTRATCOM and learned that a small child had produced the tweet.

"Turns out their Twitter manager left his computer unattended, resulting in his very young child' commandeering the keyboard," freelance journalist Mikael Thalen tweeted.

The Dot reported: "USSTRATCOM’s FOIA officer stated that the tweet had been made when the agency’s Twitter manager momentarily left his computer unattended.

"The Command’s Twitter manager, while in a telework status, momentarily left the Command’s Twitter account open and unattended,” the response reads. “His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet.

"USSTRATCOM further stressed that the tweet was not the result of a hacking incident. “Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred, i.e., no hacking of our Twitter account,” the response added “The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically.”

The original tweet raised eyebrows – and fears.

The post was only up for 30 minutes on Sunday night. But it prompted speculation across the social media site, including theories that the 13 characters could be part of a launch code for nuclear weapons.

"Does anyone know what that means? Did they accidentally almost tweet some top secret national security codes or something? I'm confused," wrote one person on Twitter.

Technology blogger and app researcher Jane Manchun Wong tweeted: "Time to say goodbye to everyone. I’ll miss my friends and family."

Wrote another in all caps: "SHOULD I STOP MAKING PLANS TO BUILD MY PATIO AND JUST WATCH THE SUN SET FOR THE LAST TIME OR WHAT."

But one Twitterer had a reasonable theory.

"While some are hypothesizing that this is some password, the character grouping is such that it was likely a cat walking across a keyboard," the person wrote.

Eventually, STRATCOM addressed the tweet, with an explanation until Wednesday. "Apologies for any confusion. Please disregard this post."

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