Twitter to wipe POTUS account's followers ahead of Biden inauguration day

DY365
DY365
Published: December 23,2020 03:27 PM
DY365

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December 23, 2020: US President-elect Joe Biden's presidential campaign digital director on Tuesday said that Twitter told the Biden team that it would be "wiping followers" from the official POTUS.

December 23, 2020: US President-elect Joe Biden's presidential campaign digital director on Tuesday said that Twitter told the Biden team that it would be "wiping followers" from the official POTUS (President of the United States) and White House Twitter accounts before transferring them to the new administration.



The move would be different than what the social media platform did in 2016 while transferring the accounts to now outgoing President Donald Trump's administration from former President Barack Obama's administration, said the Biden campaign's digital director, Rob Flaherty.



"In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama's Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse -- at Team 44's urging," Flaherty tweeted Tuesday. "In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero."



Twitter later released a statement confirming that the "@WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca" accounts will not automatically retain their existing followers after they are transferred to the Biden administration on January 20 - Biden's inauguration day.



"Instead, Twitter will notify followers of these accounts to provide context that the content will be archived and allow them the choice to follow the Biden administration's new accounts. For example, people who follow @WhiteHouse will be notified that the account has been archived as @WhiteHouse45 and given the option to follow the new @WhiteHouse account," Twitter said.



The company's statement comes after a back-and-forth earlier Tuesday between Flaherty and Twitter spokesperson Nicholas Pacilio.



However, Pacilio would not confirm Flaherty's statement Tuesday afternoon and said the social media platform is still speaking with the Biden transition team about the transfer of the accounts.



"Twitter has been in ongoing discussions with the Biden transition team on a number of aspects related to White House account transfers," Pacilio said in a statement.



Flaherty, while doubling down on his comment in response to Pacilio's statement, tweeted that he's "happy to share the email thread where we pushed back and we were told this was unequivocal."



Pacilio responded, "Hey Rob, no need I'm familiar with it!"



POTUS account has 33.2 million followers and the White House account has an additional 26 million followers - which are less than the number of followers Trump (88.5 million) has even if the followers of both accounts are combined.



It was further reported that once Trump leaves the White House, some of his future posts be deleted.



A spokesperson for Twitter previously confirmed that Trump's account will be treated like any other once he leaves office.



The final Electoral College results were 306 for Biden and 232 for Trump. The Electoral College votes will be sent to the US Congress for verification at a joint session, the final stage of the election, which is scheduled for January 6.