Here’s What Will Happen to the POTUS Social Media Accounts Next Year
Ever wondered what happens to the official U.S. presidential social media accounts when the next president takes office?
It’s quite simple, actually. The next president will get to take over the @POTUS account on Twitter and retain all of its followers, for example, but it will be wiped clean of all of President Obama’s tweets, according to a blog post published by the White House.
Obama’s tweets will be republished to @POTUS44 (he’s the 44th president of the United States!), an account that will be maintained by the National Archive and Records Administration (NARA). The same will happen to the official accounts of the First Lady, Vice President, and other administration positions, as well as all the official accounts on other social media services like Instagram and Facebook.
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“President Obama is the first ‘social media president’: the first to have @POTUS on Twitter, the first to go live on Facebook from the Oval Office, the first to answer questions from citizens on YouTube, the first to use a filter on Snapchat,” Kori Schulman, special assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Digital Officer, writes in the blog post outlining the transition.
“The President has made clear that a smooth transition between administrations is one of his top priorities, and digital is a key component of that effort,” she adds.
The White House will also save a “frozen” version of the WhiteHouse.gov website to an address specific to the Obama administration, as it has done with the Clinton and Bush administrations, and all website materials will be archived by the NARA. Same will for the White House’s photos and videos, as well as the We the People website the White House created to let Americans create petitions about important issues.
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And in the spirit of open source—an important movement the tech industry founded on the idea that openly sharing data and tools can ultimately make them better—the White House is calling for submissions of ideas to archive the administration’s data, whether it’s Twitter bots or art projects.