This past Monday, The Hill reported that “a confusing and unintelligible tweet released by U.S. Strategic Command (Stratcom) Sunday night drew ridicule and thousands of shares on Twitter after the military arm tweeted ‘;l;;gmlxzssaw.'”
The Hill continued that “the garbled message, released at 7:48 p.m., received more than 11,000 retweets and hundreds of comments before it was deleted roughly half an hour later.”
Following the deletion of the tweet, Stratcom issued another tweet stating “Apologizes for any confusion. Please disregard this post.” Almost immediately after the apology tweet was posted, it too was also deleted which lead to further questions from the already confused followers of their Twitter account.
“The bizarre message drew speculation that it was the military’s inadvertent release of the ‘nuclear launch codes,’ jokes that a cat was allowed on the keyboard and suggestions that the message was meant for extraterrestrial viewers.” –The Hill
Conspiracy theories ran rampant online before the mystery was finally solved by the Daily Dot. The Dot reported that a small child was the reason for the viral “;l;;gmlxzssaw” message which sparked all this conspiratorial mess.
The news outlet put in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with Stratcom only to learn ” that a small child had produced the tweet.”
“Filed a FOIA request with U.S. Strategic Command to see if I could learn anything about their gibberish tweet yesterday,” wrote Mikael Thalen of the Daily Dot. “Turns out their Twitter manager left his computer unattended, resulting in his ‘very young child’ commandeering the keyboard.”
Filed a FOIA request with U.S. Strategic Command to see if I could learn anything about their gibberish tweet yesterday.
Turns out their Twitter manager left his computer unattended, resulting in his "very young child" commandeering the keyboard. pic.twitter.com/KR07PCyCUM
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) March 29, 2021
He went on to add “shoutout to the FOIA officer at USSTRATCOM who provided this response just 4 hours and 42 minutes after I filed.”
The report posted by the Daily Dot continued by stating that the “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 explains. “His very young child took advantage of the situation and started playing with the keys and unfortunately, and unknowingly, posted the tweet.”
The Daily Dot added that “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 noted. “The post was discovered and notice to delete it occurred telephonically.”
The original tweet of “;l;;gmlxzssaw” also received “some sympathy messages, including from Canada’s military, which tweeted: ‘These things happen. This might even happen to you one day. It’s okay, folks.'”