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Twitter has said it would not automatically transfer the millions of followers of the Trump administration on its platform to that of President-elect Joe Biden, but would give users the option to do so.
The move affects followers of government-led accounts such as @WhiteHouse and @POTUS, which will be transferred to Joe Biden when he takes office on January 20.
Twitter’s decision will not affect the personal account @realDonaldTrump, which is frequently used by President Donald Trump and has 88.5 million followers.
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
The official government accounts “will not automatically retain their existing followers. Instead, Twitter will notify followers of these accounts to provide context that the content will be archived and allow them the choice to follow the Biden administration’s new accounts,” a Twitter said in a statement on Tuesday.
The president-elect’s digital director Rob Flaherty slammed the decision.
“In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero,” he wrote on Twitter.
People who follow presidential accounts will be notified that the accounts have been archived and given the option to follow the new Biden administration’s accounts, Twitter said.
While not as widely followed as Trump’s personal account, @POTUS has some 33 million followers and @WhiteHouse 26 million.
The transfer will also affect other institutional accounts such as @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet, and @LaCasaBlanca, according to Twitter.
Last month, Twitter indicated any special treatment that Trump has enjoyed ends with his presidency.
“Twitter’s approach to world leaders, candidates and public officials is based on the principle that people should be able to choose to see what their leaders are saying with clear context,” the San Francisco company said.
“This policy framework applies to current world leaders and candidates for office, and not private citizens when they no longer hold these positions.”