The official handle of the US presidential account will lose millions of its followers before the presidential transition to Biden administration, Twitter confirmed.
Biden’s team moved to request Twitter to let the followers remain but were informed that the decision by the social media giant was “unequivocal”. The move comes on contrast to the last presidential transition when the Trump team requested to inherit former President Barack Obama’s followers.
“In 2016, the Trump administration absorbed all of President Obama’s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse – at Team 44’s urging,” Rob Flaherty, the president-elect’s digital director, tweeted on Monday.
“In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”
The accounts that would be impacted by the wipe-out include @POTUS and @FLOTUS.
Users who currently follow the presidential accounts will be notified and will be given the choice to follow the Biden administration’s new accounts.
President Trump had frequently used his Twitter account to engage with voters in Twitters that Twitter would flag as misinformation or false news. During his time in the White House, he has tweeted more than 50,000 times.
Marketing specialist Rebecca Lodge, from Start-Up Disruptors, said of Twitter’s decision: “With millions of people following an account and Donald’s ‘fans’ being quite fanatical, it could be a clever move by Twitter to ensure that any potential negative and hate-fuelled tweets are neutralised before the new president-elect takes up his position.”