Twitter Received’t Let Biden Inherit Trump’s @POTUS Followers, Angering His Staff

Top line

The presidential transfer of power from Twitter on January 20 – when President Biden is about to lose the nearly 90 million @Potus followers that President Trump had – breaks from the tradition established after President Obama’s departure and has Bidens Team upset.

US President-elect Joe Biden will not inherit any current followers of the official @POTUS account … [+] after his team took it over from the Trump White House.

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Key factors

As per Twitter’s announced plans, Biden’s @ POTUS account doesn’t have to start with zero followers as the newly created @ PresElectBiden will become the new @ POTUS account while the @ Transition46 account will become the new White House account.

Others like the official Senator account of elected Vice President Kamala Harris will become the new official @ VP account, and the newly created @FLOTUSBiden account will become the official first lady account.

Supporters of @POTUS or @VP under President Trump and Vice President Pence will need to re-track accounts under Biden and Harris.

As a first step, the Biden team will also receive a new account @SecondGentleman, which will be the official account for Harris’ spouse and the country’s first second gentleman, Doug Emhoff.

Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director, expressed dismay at Twitter’s plan to cut the Biden team from existing followers to official accounts and called it “absolutely, deeply inadequate”.

Flaherty noted that Facebook transfers all of Joe Biden’s followers to the official POTUS account, Snapchat transfers them to the @WhiteHouse account, while YouTube transfers them all existing subscribers to the current White House channel.

Chief critic

When asked why Biden’s team wanted Twitter followers who could be Trump supporters, Flaherty replied, “There are a lot of ~~ normal ~~ people who follow the president … So the account is a public good … It’s not a political one Account, it’s the president’s account. “The Biden employee added that the president-elect” really couldn’t care less about Twitter followers … but he does manage to communicate with everyone in the country, whether they agree or not. “

Surprising fact

Vice President Elect @SenKamalaHarris had more followers (5.1 million) on Friday than the 640,000 followers on the @ PresElectBiden account. This could mean that on the day of opening, the @ VP account may have more followers than the @ POTUS account.

Key background

As with Obama’s @ POTUS account, Twitter has announced that it will transfer official accounts to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) for archival purposes. For example, tweets from Trump’s @ POTUS accounts are archived under the inactive @ POTUS45 account. During the recent transition from Obama to Trump, the outgoing president’s staff insisted that Trump’s @POTUS account should inherit Obama’s 13 million followers from his presidential account. It’s unclear why the same won’t happen this time around, but it’s possible that Trump’s team refused to offer the same courtesy to Biden after a series of tumultuous challenges from the outgoing president, who still refuses to acknowledge Biden’s victory.


The Twitter blog makes no mention of Trump’s personal @ realDonaldTrump account, which was permanently banned last week after Twitter found the president tried to incite violence. There is no official archive of Trump’s personal Twitter account, which he used all the time during his presidency to make important political announcements, rally his supporters, attack his opponents and even fire fighters.

further reading

Twitter permanently bans Trump (Forbes)

YouTube Takes Down New Trump Video And Bans All Uploads From Its Channel For 7 Days (Forbes)

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