At President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the official grips were taken over by Trump’s White House with their supporters intact, under the encouragement of the outgoing Obama administration.
This time, however, Twitter will not transfer followers when those handles are transferred to the new Biden administration. (@POTUS has over 33 million followers; @WhiteHouse has over 26 million.)
Instead, Twitter said on Tuesday that it would notify users who follow official Trump administration accounts that these accounts will be archived and that they can follow new iterations of these handles by the Biden administration if they wish. (Mr. Trump’s @realDonaldTrump, which has 88.5 million subscribers, is a personal account and will not be part of the transfer.)
People who follow @Joe Biden or @KamalaHarris, who have a total of nearly 35 million subscribers, will be encouraged to also follow @ Transition46, the official account of the Biden transition, Twitter said.
That account will become the new @WhiteHouse account, attracting the transition account’s current 1.2 million subscribers, the Biden team said. But other official accounts, such as @POTUS, @FLOTUS and @PressSec, will start from zero.
A transition spokesperson criticized Twitter’s policy change, saying the Biden administration would rather have Twitter repeat the transfer it made in 2017 rather than push people to open new accounts.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his involvement in the talks.