Social media platform Twitter has decided that it will make fresh Twitter accounts for US President-Elect Joe Biden’s @POTUS as well as @TheWhiteHouse with zero followers once he is sworn as the President of the United States in the coming weeks. Also Read - Twitter POTUS account transferred to Joe Biden from Donald Trump
The microblogging website has decided against transferring the existing followers and details on the @POTUS and @TheWhiteHouse accounts to the new administration which will be sworn in post 20 January, Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, was quoted as saying in the media reports on 22 December. Also Read - Officials from Facebook and Twitter summoned by Parliamentary panel on Jan 21
What happens to the existing accounts?
Currently, @POTUS has more than 33.2 million followers on the platform while @TheWhiteHouse has almost 26 million followers. Also Read - Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump's account: Here's why
As per The Verge report, this is a reversal from what Twitter did back in 2017 when the Trump administration continued with the same number of followers that the Obama administration had left behind.
“Back then, Twitter essentially 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 report mentioned.
There was also a Wall Street Journal report that said there was contention between the Biden team and Twitter over whether the followers would be transferred.
Twitter has also said that the following accounts will also have their followers gone: @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca. There has been no statement from the current administration on this transfer.
Twitter said it is “in ongoing discussions with the Biden transition team on a number of aspects related to White House account transfers.”
Start from scratch
Twitter also said last month that all existing tweets on those accounts will be archived and it will also transfer the accounts to Biden after resetting the tweet count and followers to zero.
Meanwhile, post the handover, Donald Trump’s @POTUS account will be renamed @POTUS45 and become inactive of as Twitter calls it, “frozen as-is”.
Trump will take control of another account named @realDonaldTrump, although with fewer protections than before.
From January 20 next year, Trump will lose special privileges on Twitter and his tweets will be treated like any other user.
— with inputs from IANS.