As US President-elect, Joe Biden be sworn in to office on January 20, he will not be inheriting outgoing President Donald Trump’s 33.2 million followership on Twitter’s @POTUS account as well as the followers on White House accounts.
This is because Twitter has decided to make Joe Biden’s @POTUS account as well as @WhiteHouse account to start afresh with zero followers once he is sworn in.
The microblogging platform will not transfer existing @POTUS and @WhiteHouse followers to the new administration, Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, was quoted as saying in the media reports on Tuesday.
@POTUS currently has 33.2 million followers while @TheWhiteHouse has 26 million followers on Twitter. According to The Verge, this is a reversal from what Twitter did in 2017 when the Trump administration took over the accounts from the Obama administration.
According to the report, “Twitter usually duplicated the existing accounts, creating an archive of Obama-era tweets and followers and building a new set of accounts for the incoming administration that retained all of those followers without any of the tweets.”
The Wall Street Journal reported that there was contention between the Biden team and Twitter over whether the followers would be transferred. According to Twitter, the accounts for @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca will also have their followers gone.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s POTUS account will be renamed @POTUS45 and ‘frozen as-is’.
Trump will be in control of @realDonaldTrump, although with fewer protections than before. Also, from January 20 next year, Trump will lose special privileges on Twitter and his tweets will be treated like any other user.