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Julian Assange's Twitter account reappears after mysterious absence

Last Updated Dec 25, 2017 4:29 PM EST

The official Twitter account of controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange -- @JulianAssange -- is back online after disappearing from the social media platform overnight. It's unclear whether the account was suspended by Twitter or deactivated by Assange.

A Twitter spokesperson did not answer CBS News' questions asking if the account was suspended but pointed to the company's language on how users can deactivate and reactivate their own accounts.

Assange's account posted the following image of Santa Claus on Monday morning without explaining the brief absence.

While the account was offline, anyone who tried to reach Assange's page received an error message from Twitter.

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Twitter uses seeking Julian Assange's official account early on December 25, 2017 saw this message

Twitter.com

The official WikiLeaks Twitter account was still live but wasn't mentioning the Assange account. It later posted a reference to "oddities" on Twitter and said Assange's "physical situation at the embassy remains unaltered." Assange has been holed up at the Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012, when he sought refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden on rape charges, which were eventually dropped.  

Another account claiming to be Assange's alternate handle said Twitter deleted the official account ahead of a blockbuster story he's preparing to break. There was no confirmation that Assange authored the alternative account and it was later suspended by Twitter.