Dec. 24 (UPI) — Twitter on Wednesday confirmed it will wipe the followers from various White House accounts, including @POTUS, when President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
Twitter representative Nick Pacilio told CNN that multiple White House accounts being transferred upon inauguration day on Jan. 20 “will not automatically retain their existing followers.”
“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,” Pacilio said. “For example, people who follow @WhiteHouse will be notified that the account has been archived as @WhiteHouse45 and given the option to follow the new @WhiteHouse account.”
On inauguration day the @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet and @LaCasaBlanca accounts will be formally transferred to the Biden administration.
Biden transition official Rob Flaherty tweeted that they had been informed of the move and had pushed back against the decision in a series of emails with Twitter.
“In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama‘s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — at Team 44’s urging,” Flaherty wrote. “In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”
Flaherty added in another tweet that the move was Twitter’s decision and not the Trump administration’s.
The @POTUS account has 33.2 million followers, although Trump almost exclusively tweets directly from his personal account @realDonaldTrump, which has 88.5 million followers. Biden’s personal account has 21.7 million followers.
In November, Twitter said Trump will lose special privileges for government officials allowing him to tweet things from his personal account that otherwise may be removed for violating its rules due to public interest once Biden is inaugurated.