Twitter and President Trump have had a love hate relationship. The platform was used not only to share the administration’s thoughts but also to show its stand on critical matters of the country. However, now that Trump’s term is about to end, it looks like Twitter does not want to carry any of the ‘memories’ for the future. As the Trump administration is on its way out of the White House, Twitter has reportedly decided that it would wipe out all the followers from the @POTUS account before the newly elected President of the United States Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20. The same would be applied for @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca and @WhiteHouse accounts.
Biden transition says Trump admin has refused to transfer the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse Twitter accounts with followers and that Biden must start from zero — reversing goodwill gesture from Obama admin in 2016.
— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) December 22, 2020
This, however, is not what happened back in 2016 when the Trump administration took over from the Obama administration. Twitter, back then, duplicated the accounts in which the followers were transferred and created an archive of Obama-era tweets and followers. Therefore, Trump was essentially handed over a new account with none of the previous tweets, but all of the existing followers. In the new policy, Biden would have to start from scratch in gaining followers. The accounts currently have a large audience base: @POTUS has 33 million followers, @WhiteHouse has 26 million, @FLOTUS has 16 million, and @PressSec has 6 million. The social media platform also has not provided any reason as to why it has changed its policy.
According to Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio, anyone who follows any of the accounts which are being transferred over would receive a notification that the account is being archived. The users would also be provided with the option to follow the Biden administration’s new accounts.
According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Trump’s @POTUS account would be frozen and renamed as @POTUS45 which will house all of his tweets. He will still be in control of his @realDonaldTrump which has 88 million followers. Pacilio also said that Trump, not being the President of the United States anymore, would lose special privileges that he enjoyed in the last four years. This means that if he violates the rules of the platform, from now on, the tweets would be taken down instead of being labeled.