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Biden Team Starts @PresElectBiden, Express Anguish With Twitter For Resetting Follower Count

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Biden Team Starts @PresElectBiden, Express Anguish With Twitter For Resetting Follower Count

Twitter Inc (NYSE: TWTR), in a blog post Thursday, said that it would be transferring the institutional White House Twitter accounts including @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, and @PressSec, once President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will both be sworn into office during the United States’ 59th Presidential Inauguration. 

Twitter will transfer the current institutional accounts to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), where the Tweets and account history will remain publicly available, and the account usernames will be updated to reflect their archived status. Trump’s White House account will be archived as @POTUS45.

Bloomberg reports that the Biden administration expressed displeasure with Twitter’s transition as they will reset the followers of institutional accounts, @POTUS, and @WhiteHouse, to zero. Hence Biden’s team has opened a @PresElectBiden account to build a following, which will be converted to @POTUS account for the White House.

The existing accounts currently have a massive following. Biden’s transition’s digital director Rob Flaherty called Twitter’s move unfair and said, “They are advantaging President Trump’s first days of the administration over ours. If we don’t end the day with the 12 million followers that Donald Trump inherited from Barack Obama, then they have given us less than they gave Donald Trump, and that is a failure.” 

Why It Matters: Twitter told Bloomberg that transferring the millions of followers of the existing accounts is technically too difficult. However, both Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) and its subsidiary Instagram will be duplicating the following of existing accounts to the new White House accounts. 

“We’re following the same procedures we used during the transfer between the Obama and Trump administration when President-elect Biden is sworn into office next week,” Facebook spokeswoman Dani Lever said.

Having the current following will allow the new administration to start communication with a large audience on Facebook and Instagram but not on Twitter. “There is value in being able to communicate with an audience that doesn’t agree with us,” Flaherty said.

Biden’s team is also launching @FLOTUSBiden for the incoming first lady, Jill Biden, @SecondGentleman for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’s husband, Doug Emhoff, and @PressSecPsaki for Jen Psaki, the incoming White House press secretary. Harris’s official Senate account, @SenKamalaHarris, will take the @VP handle on Inauguration Day. 

Price Action: TWTR shares are down 2.69% at $45.95 in the premarket session on the last check Friday.

Related News: Twitter Permanently Bans President Donald Trump Citing’ Risk Of Further Incitement Of Violence’

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia

 

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