Twitter will make Joe Biden’s @POTUS account as well as @WhiteHouse account to start afresh with zero followers once he has sworn in as America’s next president on January 20.
The US 2020 Presidential elections in recent times garnered massive interest from Indians with viewers hooked onto the Trump vs Biden campaign in the United States that went on for months. Twitter, no doubt, has played a very important role in the US elections. President Donald Trump often used Twitter to announce policies, move markets, attack the press, dispute reports, insult enemies, and energise his base.
Trump during his presidential term often used his @POTUS account on Twitter to vocalise his thoughts and opinions. Twitter has been a primary means by which Trump used to set his agenda. This lands us on a question: How many followers does the US president’s official Twitter account have?
Right now, the @POTUS account has over 33.2 million followers. When President Donald Trump was sworn in the office in 2017, he inherited almost 14 million followers from President Barack Obama. And, that count of followers quickly increased after Inauguration Day. But the situation is quite different in 2020. Obviously, 2020 is a different year.
Twitter has told President-elect Joe Biden’s 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 number of followers will be dropped to zero after Biden takes over the official @POTUS account on Inauguration Day.
Biden’s team was informed that President Donald Trump’s followers will not carry over to the official accounts assigned to the new president and White House in January, a reversal from the last transition. This means that the Biden administration’s accounts will start with zero followers on Twitter, cutting off a way for Biden to instantly reach millions of people who currently follow the official accounts used by Trump.
Biden team’s reaction:
Biden’s team is pushing back against Twitter’s decision of starting the @POTUS account for Biden with zero followers, which is a reversal from the last presidential transition. While Biden’s digital director Rob Flaherty also tweeted that Former President Barack Obama’s 13 million followers were moved to the new @POTUS account after President Trump took over.
The micro-blogging platform will not be transferring existing @POTUS and @WhiteHouse followers to the new administration. Also, the Twitter accounts of @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca will also have their followers gone and will have to start afresh.
But there’s a catch:
The transition of the @POTUS Twitter account from Donald Trump to Joe Biden next month will definitely be a complicated one, but not as hard-hearted as many people are believing it to be. It is absolutely true that Biden is going to inherit new versions of the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts with zero followers, but there’s a catch!
A Twitter spokesperson outlined the fact that on January 20, when Biden will officially enter the office, Twitter users who follow the @POTUS account under Trump will be sent a notification, asking if they’d like to follow Biden’s accounts moving forward.
The spokesperson in his statement also revealed that this time during the process of transition, the accounts will not automatically retain their existing followers. The previous content on the platform will be archived and followers of the account will now be notified and will be provided with the choice of whether they want to follow the Biden administration’s new accounts or not.
Trump to lose his Twitter privileges:
In less than a month away, Donald Trump is set to lose all his executive privileges and special treatment that he has enjoyed over the past four years. When Biden will be sworn in as the President of the United States on January 20, as the 46th president of the United States, Donald Trump and his administration will lose access to Twitter’s official White House accounts, including @POTUS and @WhiteHouse.
But there’s one thing that Trump might be relieved of: The Biden’s team will have to rebuild the followers of its administration’s accounts from the scratch. The existing posts from the Trump administration will be archived on new accounts (e.g., @POTUS45 and @WhiteHouse45) and will be maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
It is also reported that in the past two months, Twitter has flagged hundreds of Trump’s tweets and retweets related to the election as disputed or misleading. This was done after December 14, when the Electoral College’s votes confirmed that Biden will be the next US president.