Twitter told President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team that supporters of President Donald Trump will not be transferred to the official Twitter accounts attributed to the new president and the White House in January, a 2016 reversal.
That means the Biden administration will start with zero followers and cut off a way for Biden to instantly reach millions of people Trump valued.
Biden’s own account, @JoeBiden, has 21.7 million followers.
The @POTUS account has over 33 million subscribers while @WhiteHouse has 26 million. Each account had over 13 million subscribers on inauguration day 2017. At 12:01 that day, when Trump was sworn in, all @POTUS followers also automatically followed @ POTUS44, an archive of tweets. officials of President Barack Obama. But they also stayed with the official accounts.
“Twitter has informed us that from now on, the Biden administration will have to start from scratch,” Biden digital director Rob Flaherty tweeted on Tuesday. He later added that Biden’s team had, by email, pushed back on the company’s plans and “he was told it was unequivocal.”
Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio said the company “has ongoing discussions with Biden’s transition team on a number of aspects related to the White House account transfers.”
More to read absolutely technological coverage of Fortune:
- How? ‘Or’ What hackers could hinder successful vaccine deployment
- Why investors jumped on board the SPAC “sauce train”
- GitHub CEO: We eliminate all tracking “cookies” and you should too
- Innovation just does not happen about Zoom
- CEO Upstart talks about major IPO pop, AI and Google racial biases