Twitter will make Joe Biden’s @POTUS account start with zero followers

President Biden goes to want some Twitter followers. Twitter plans to wipe out all followers from the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts as soon as Biden is sworn in on January twentieth, slightly than transferring the accounts’ current followers over to the brand new administration, according to Rob Flaherty, Biden’s digital director. The accounts for @FLOTUS and @PressSec are amongst round a dozen others which are set to be transferred to the brand new administration underneath the identical insurance policies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

It is a reversal from what Twitter did in 2016 when the Trump administration took over accounts from the Obama administration. Again then, Twitter primarily duplicated the prevailing accounts, creating an archive of Obama-era tweets and followers and constructing a brand new set of accounts for the incoming administration that retained all of these followers with none of the tweets.

Twitter hasn’t stated why it’s altering the coverage this time. Twitter advised The Verge it’s “in ongoing discussions with the Biden transition crew on numerous elements associated to White Home account transfers.” Biden’s crew appears to be sad about this variation in coverage, given the numerous digital benefit they’ll be shedding. Flaherty stated the transition crew “pushed again and we had been advised this was unequivocal.”

Whereas the president has loads of pulpits to talk from, there’s no denying that Twitter is a serious communications instrument for the president after these final 4 years. These accounts have vital followings to rebuild, too: @POTUS has 33 million followers, @WhiteHouse has 26 million, @FLOTUS has 16 million, and @PressSec has 6 million.

Donald Trump’s @POTUS account can be renamed @POTUS45 and “frozen as-is,” the Journal reported. He’ll nonetheless be in charge of @realDonaldTrump, albeit with fewer protections than earlier than.

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