San Francisco, December 23
Twitter will make Joe Bidens @POTUS account as well as @WhiteHouse account to start afresh with zero followers once he is sworn in as Americas next president on January 20.
The micro-blogging platform is not transferring existing @POTUS and @WhiteHouse followers to the new administration, Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, was quoted as saying in media reports on Tuesday.
While @POTUS currently has 33.2 million followers, @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 accounts from the Obama administration.
“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.
The Wall Street Journal reported that there was contention between the Biden team and Twitter over whether followers would transfer over.
According to Twitter, the accounts for @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca will also have their followers gone.
Twitter said it is “in ongoing discussions with the Biden transition team on a number of aspects related to White House account transfers.” The company last month said all existing tweets on those accounts will be archived and it will transfer the accounts — reset to zero tweets — to Biden.
Donald Trump’s @POTUS account will be renamed @POTUS45 and “frozen as-is”.
Trump will be in control of @realDonaldTrump, although with less protections than before.
From January 20 next year, Trump will lose special privileges on Twitter and his tweets will be treated as any other user.