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What happens on the internet in 11 minutes?


What happens on the internet in 11 minutes?

Last Thursday, for a small snippet just before midnight in the UK, U.S. President Donald Trump disappeared from Twitter.

A whole 11 minutes passed where there was no such thing as @realDonaldTrump. Nobody was even able to see the billionaire turned world leader’s tweets about terrorism, fake news, tax dealings or whatever else took his fancy, let alone was he able to share them for himself.

Had he been hacked? Had he had his account deleted for violating Twitter’s code of conduct? Had he experienced a cathartic moment and released that his incessant microblogged ramblings were a bit odd for someone in his position and maybe he should pack it in and concentrate on, you know, running his country?

It turned out to be none of these things – instead, it was down to a Twitter employee’s ‘last day’ prank. Perhaps surprisingly, Twitter admitted as much.

The orange-haired loudmouth soon had his account, tweets and followers back, and hasn’t commented on the incident, but for some Americans, it was 11 minutes of utter bliss.

So, for those particular 11 minutes, Trump was able to do nothing on Twitter, but what else happens in 11 minutes online? The website Internet Live Stats gives some fantastic facts about the mind-blowing amount of web-based activity that takes place every second. Going by the information on the site, during Trump’s 11-minute Twitter blackout:

• 5,158,560 Tweets were made (although none by Trump, which may reduce this figure significantly!)
• 535,920 photos were uploaded to Instagram
• 861,300 Tumblr posts were made
• 1,874,400 people started a Skype call
• 41,881,620 Google searches took place
• 47,143,140 YouTube videos were watched
• There was 33,109,560GB (or 33.1 petabytes) of internet traffic
• 1,741,278,000 emails were sent, 1,166,656,260 of which (67%) were spam

Perhaps the most interesting part of the site, however, is the page where you can watch the number of worldwide internet users grow. It currently stands at around 3.77 million, but this number is increasing by a rate of about 540 users every minute. This means that during the 11 minutes of Trump-free Twitter, 5,940 people across the world actually became internet users. What a perfect time to be introduced to the web!

Trump sent his first Tweet on May 4th, 2009. By 8:00am UK time this morning, he had bashed out 36,324 of them, which means he tweets an average of 11.68 times a day – almost once every two hours. No wonder some researchers have suggested he’s addicted to Twitter!

John Murray

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