The Twitter account for the US Strategic Command - that is, the governing body in control of the US’ nuclear missiles – captured the internet’s interest a few days ago after releasing a cryptic Tweet that appeared to be plain gibberish. Given their high status and strategic role in the military, many internet users put on their code-breaking caps and set about postulating about what it could possibly mean.
Hilariously, though, there was a far more harmless explanation – the Twitter account manager’s young toddler mashed a bunch of keys and sent the Tweet out accidentally.
The jumbled message was sent out on 28th March, reading just “;l;;gmlxzssaw”. Could it be a secret code, message or set of coordinates? Could it be the result of a hack, infiltrating the US Strategic Command? You can be sure Twitter was going to find out.
Quickly, users began joking about what the message could possibly be. Some joked it could be the nuclear launch codes, others explained that it must’ve been a cat; some even joked it was a message from the late Elvis Presley.
Of course, some took it more seriously than others. Twitter user Alex Kaplan picked up some chatter amongst QAnon influencers, who are followers of a far-right conspiracy theory involving Donald Trump, that the message could in-fact a cryptic code involving the acquittal of ‘Q’. These people run the message through a cryptogram identifier, which runs the message through a database of ciphers to try and decode it, although when we tried it, we just got ‘unknown format’, so we aren’t entirely sure how these interpretations were gained.
Others questioned whether the US Stratcom account was hacked, which would be quite a serious situation.
Around 30 minutes after the Tweet, US Stratcom responded, asking everyone to ignore their previous tweet.
“The Command’s Twitter manager, while in telework status, momentarily left the Command’s Twitter account open and unattended. His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet. Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred, I.e., no hacking of our Twitter account. The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically.” the officer said in a statement to Thalen.
In all fairness, this is clearly a very tech-savvy toddler who follows in their father’s footsteps, so credit where credit is due.