Twitter has told President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team that President Donald Trump’s followers will not carry over to the official Twitter accounts assigned to the new president and White House in January, a reversal from 2016.
That means the Biden administration will start with zero followers and would cut off a way for Biden to instantly reach millions of people that Trump enjoyed.
Biden’s own account, @JoeBiden, has 21.7 million followers.
The @POTUS account has more than 33 million followers while @WhiteHouse has 26 million. Each account had more than 13 million followers on Inauguration Day 2017. At 12:01 p.m. that day, when Trump was sworn in, all the followers of @POTUS also automatically followed @POTUS44, an archive of President Barack Obama’s official tweets. But they also stayed with the official accounts.
“Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero,” Biden digital director Rob Flaherty tweeted Tuesday. He later added that the Biden team had, via email, pushed back on the company’s plans and “were told this was unequivocal.”
Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio said the company “has been in ongoing discussions with the Biden transition team on a number of aspects related to White House account transfers.”