A tweet issued on the official page of the US military command in charge of the nation’s nuclear arsenal had many on social media confused.
Many wondered what the Sunday evening tweet, which read “;l;;gmlxzssaw”, meant. Some speculated that the account of the US Strategic Command, which has its headquarters at Offutt Air Force Base south of Omaha, may have been hacked.
Within 10 minutes, the tweet drew at least 12,400 “likes”, 9,000 retweets and lots of conjecture and speculation, the Omaha World-Herald reported.
Half an hour later, a follow-up tweet apologised for the confusion and advised followers to disregard the nonsensical tweet. Then the mystery tweet disappeared.
“Should we be ducking and covering now?” one person responded.
StratCom officials provided the answer a day later: The tweet came from a rogue toddler.
In a statement issued late on Monday, StratCom said the person who manages the command’s Twitter account was working from home when he briefly stepped away from his computer while the account was open.
That is when his child sat down to play on the keyboard and managed to hit “send”.
“Absolutely nothing nefarious occurred; i.e., no hacking of our Twitter account,” StratCom spokeswoman Karen Singer said in the statement.