When President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20, Twitter will make its own change of power.
The @POTUS account, which served as the official account of the President of Donald Trump and, before him, Barack Obama, will be given to Biden when he takes office.
In line with this, @VP will move from Mike Pence to Kamala Harris, @FLOTUS from Melania Trump to Jill BIden and @PressSec from Kayleigh McEnany to Jen Psaki. The Biden administration also takes control of @WhiteHouse, @Cabinet and @LaCasaBlaca.
On Tuesday, the Biden transition team’s digital director, Rob Flaherty, criticized Twitter for backing up course on an earlier policy.
“As in 2017, Twitter is working actively with the US government to support the transition of Twitter accounts between administrations so that the incoming Biden administration has access to institutional Twitter accounts of the White House,” said Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio in a statement.
“The accounts don’t automatically keep their existing followers,” but those who follow the @ POTUS account, for example, will receive a notification from Twitter that the account will be archived as @ POTUS45 and will be given the option to follow the new account.
In an email to Adweek, Pacilio confirmed that Obama’s supporters were automatically forwarded to Trump. However, this will not happen if the account used by Trump goes to Biden. The company would not comment on why the policy since the last transition.
Another big change comes for Donald Trump on his favorite social media platform. After January 20, Trump will lose special privileges under Twitter’s global leadership. That means his rules-breaking Tweets – and possibly his account – can be removed as Twitter no longer sees any public interest when it comes to showing its users what Trump is posting.
While Trump also used the @ POTUS account, his primary Twitter handle has always been @realDonaldTrump. He will retain access to that account, albeit with limited protection, long after he leaves office.