Joe Biden’s transition team learned that it would not be inheriting any of the followers that President Donald Trump amassed on his official United States Presidential Twitter account.
Twitter announced earlier this week that Biden’s official US government Twitter account will start from zero on January 20, 2021.
Biden’s digital director, Rob Flaherty, tweeted the news on Tuesday.
“In 2016,” Flaherty tweeted, “the Trump [Administration] 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.”
According to RedState, those who follow the current presidential accounts will be notified that they are being archived, and will be given the choice to follow the Biden administration’s new accounts.
The Biden transition team fought Twitter’s decision; however, Twitter is refusing to budge.
In a statement to CNN, spokesperson Cameron French bemoaned Twitter’s decision and said that it “unnecessarily politicizes” a smooth transition of power.
“Twitter’s reluctance to transfer millions of followers from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration unnecessarily politicizes what otherwise should be a routine transfer of communication from one administration to the next,” French said.
At the time of publishing, President Trump’s official US government Twitter account (@POTUS) has 33.2 million followers, and the White House’s official US government Twitter account has 26 million followers.
President Trump’s personal Twitter account (@realDonaldTrump), however, has more followers than both of the official accounts combined: 88.5 million.
Upon leaving office, President Trump will still have access to his personal account, and, thus, still have a way to communicate with his nearly 90 million supporters around the world.
The Biden administration’s accounts on the other hand will have to build up its followers from scratch.
Biden’s personal account, which has gained roughly 3 million followers since Election Day, still only has about a fourth of the followers that President Trump’s personal account has.
If he assumes office, Biden’s personal account will keep its 21.7 million followers; however, his official presidential account will start at zero.
Self-professed national political reporter Hugo Lowell incorrectly tweeted that it was the Trump Administration’s decision to preclude Biden from inheriting the followers.
Subsequent to Twitter’s decision, Twitter users took to the social media platform to mock the Biden transition team’s concerns.
Twitter users claimed that Biden’s team shouldn’t fret starting afresh on Twitter since he purportedly garnered more votes that any candidate in the history of the United States.
It is uncertain at this time what other social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram) plan to do regarding the transition of official government accounts.