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Twitter to Scrub POTUS Followers on Inauguration Day

Though they will be prompted to re-follow, if they so choose
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2020 3:45 AM CST
Updated Dec 23, 2020 5:01 AM CST

(Newser) – Joe Biden will start his presidency with no Twitter followers. The social media giant says it will reset the official presidential account, @POTUS, as well as the official White House account and any other official administration accounts, to zero followers when Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, Variety reports. The millions of users affected (33.2 million for @POTUS alone) will be prompted to re-follow the accounts if they so choose. Twitter already announced it would reset the official accounts to zero tweets, with all of the existing tweets archived on other accounts, and hand over access to the new administration. Though of course, President Trump can simply go on tweeting as usual at his preferred account, @realDonaldTrump.

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This is a reversal from the last election, when Trump inherited all of former President Obama's followers, and CNET reports the Biden team is not pleased about it. "[W]e pushed back and we were told this was unequivocal," Biden's digital director tweeted. In an article mostly focused on how the Twitter rules will change for Trump when he leaves office (he won't have as much protection against his account being suspended or his tweets being removed, for example), the Wall Street Journal notes there were some technical problems when transferring @POTUS and related accounts from Obama to Trump in 2017, and some users issued complaints about the process. (Read more Twitter stories.)

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