Twitter confirmed that the official accounts of the US presidency would have to lose millions of their followers before being transferred to Joe Biden’s government elected this year as the country’s new president.
The social network’s plan was questioned by Biden’s team, but the company said its decision was “undisputed”.
The decision is a departure from the country’s last presidential transition in 2016, when Twitter agreed to Donald Trump’s request that he “inherit” Barack Obama’s followers.
“In 2016, the Trump administration absorbed all followers of President Obama on Twitter @POTUS (short for President of the United States in English) and @WhiteHouse (White House),” Director of the social network, Rob Flaherty Said on Twitter. From Biden’s team on Monday.
“In 2020, Twitter informed us that now the Biden government has to start from scratch.”
The company’s new policy will also affect the first lady’s official account @FLOTUS.
Twitter said that those following the current presidential accounts would be notified that they were being archived and asked if they wanted to follow the new Biden government accounts.
Joe Biden’s personal accounts, which have 21.7 million followers, will not be affected by the account transfer.
President Donald Trump has been known to use his Twitter account – both personal and presidential officials – to generate engagement with his voters. During his four years in the White House, he posted more than 50,000 messages on Twitter.
However, according to the FactBase website, which tracks Twitter profiles, Trump has lost more than 369,000 followers to his personal account since November.
In the same period, President-Elect Joe Biden gained more than 2.6 million followers.
Digital marketing expert Rebecca Lodge of Start Up Disorders said Twitter’s decision could be a “smart strategy” for the social network.
“With many of Trump’s ‘fans’ they can be quite radical, (the decision) could be a smart Twitter strategy to ensure that hateful and negative posts are ‘neutralized’ before the presidential election,” Lodge says .