- The Washington Times
Wednesday, December 23, 2020

The incoming Biden administration will inherit Twitter accounts used by the current White House but not the followers they gained during this presidency and the last, the social media company said Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Twitter reiterated the company will facilitate the transfer of several institutional White House accounts, including @POTUS and @VP, to the Biden administration on Inauguration Day.

“The accounts will not automatically retain their existing followers,” the Twitter spokesperson added. “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.”

Among the other accounts to be transferred over to the incoming Biden administration next month are @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet and @LaCasaBlanca, the Twitter spokesperson confirmed.

Those accounts were originally used during the administration of former President Barack Obama. They were subsequently passed down to the current White House, notably along with the followers they amassed.

Rob Flaherty, digital director of President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s campaign, noted President Trump inherited his predecessor’s Twitter followers unlike his successor stands to when he is sworn in.

“In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama’s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — at Team 44’s urging. In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero,” Mr. Flaherty posted on Twitter “Just to be clear: this is Twitter’s decision, not Trump’s.”

The @POTUS, @WhiteHouse, @FLOTUS, @VP and @PressSec accounts are each currently followed by several million Twitter users. Their posts will be archived elsewhere when the new administration enters.

Mr. Trump’s personal account, @RealDonaldTrump, which is currently followed by more than 88.5 million users, will not be passed down in the transition.

The current president has previously run afoul of Twitter’s rules but allowed to remain on the service given his world leader status. He risks the possibility of suspension once not in office, however.

Mr. Biden is set to be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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