In 2021, Twitter is determined to wipe the slate clean. The social network will not transfer the 33.2 million subscribers to “@POTUS" (“President Of The United States") after Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, 2021, noted Rob Flaherty, Joe Biden’s digital manager, on his Twitter account. Joe Biden has 21.7 million subscribers on his personal account.
The measure will also be applied to other official US government accounts. The Twitter account of the White House, “@WhiteHouse“, that of the vice president, “@VP," held by Mike Pence and “@FLOTUS" (“First Lady Of The United States"), the account of the first lady of the country will also be reset to zero. These currently have 26 million, 10.3 million and 16.4 million followers respectively.
Three other official governmental accounts will also be affected by this deleting of followers with the Spanish-language White House account, “@LaCasaBlanca“, that of the “@Cabinet" which shares the latest information from the administration in place, and the one used by the White House spokeswoman “@PressSec“. Less important accounts in terms of “followers" but which still gather respectively 169.8 thousand, 183.9 thousand and 6.3 million users.
The Wall Street Journal reports that this decision seems to have ignited a rift between Joe Biden’s new administration and Twitter. After the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, Twitter had nevertheless kept the subscribers of all these accounts without keeping the tweets published by the administration of Barack Obama.
In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama's Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — at Team 44's urging. In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero. https://t.co/wj1R02SmiK
— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) December 22, 2020
For the moment, Twitter has not explained this choice, which differs from its previous actions.
According to a Twitter spokesperson, all subscribers to these different accounts will receive a notification alerting them that these Trump-era accounts will be archived. They will also be given the opportunity to follow the official accounts of Joe Biden’s new administration.
Donald Trump’s four-year President’s account will be archived, as was Barack Obama’s, under a new username “@POTUS45."