Twitter will reset the White House & POTUS accounts with zero followers on Jan. 20

Trump Departs for Greenville, NC

I’m looking forward to so many things and events in 2021. The inauguration, seeing Donald Trump dragged out of the White House, the ensuing avalanche of state and federal investigations and charges against Trump and his minions, not to mention all of the civil lawsuits. I’m also looking forward to Twitter cracking down on Trump and his minions too. It’s been building for a while, as Jack Dorsey has – over the past year – tried to make Twitter a more hostile place for Nazis. But Twitter has special rules for Donald Trump, rules which will disappear on January 20th. As it turns out, Twitter is also going to completely reset the @WhiteHouse and @POTUS accounts on that date too.

Donald Trump will lose access to Twitter’s official White House accounts — including @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — when Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20 as the 46th president of the United States. But with the changeover, the Biden team will be rebuilding the followers of those accounts from scratch. On Inauguration Day, Twitter will reset @POTUS, @WhiteHouse and other accounts to zero followers and issue prompts to users to re-follow the new Biden-controlled accounts if they choose. The existing posts from the Trump administration will be archived on new accounts (e.g., @POTUS45 and @WhiteHouse45) maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

The White House accounts “will not automatically retain their existing followers,” a Twitter rep said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

That’s a change from what happened when Trump took over the White House four years ago. In 2016, “the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama’s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — at Team 44’s urging,” Rob Flaherty, the Biden campaign’s digital director, tweeted Tuesday. “In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”

Currently, @POTUS has 33.2 million followers on Twitter and @WhiteHouse has 26 million. Other presidential accounts that will be moving to the Biden team include @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet and @LaCasaBlanca.

Meanwhile, as previously reported, after Trump leaves office he will lose the special exemption that Twitter extends to political leaders under which the social network flags (but does not remove) posts that would be considered policy violations for regular users.

“If an account [holder] suddenly is not a world leader anymore, that particular policy goes away,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said at a Senate hearing last month.

That will extend to Trump’s personal @realDonaldTrump account, which now has 88.5 million followers. Since Election Day, Trump and his supporters have made various inaccurate claims that Trump somehow won the election and that there was widespread voter fraud or other voting snafus that would have changed the results — without any credible supporting evidence. Twitter has flagged hundreds of tweets and retweets by Trump as disputed or misleading.

[From Variety]

Personally, I never felt that terrorized by the Trump administration’s use of the POTUS or White House Twitter accounts, but perhaps I wasn’t paying close enough attention. It seemed like Trump used his own account as a specialized, dedicated account for all of his most insane rants, fascistic thoughts and authoritarian dreams. And once he starts ranting, lying and inciting violence on January 20th, I trust that Dorsey will pull the plug. As for the official POTUS and White House accounts… I will follow them during the Biden administration. They better make it boring as hell. Won’t that be glorious? To follow some government accounts which are sane and mundane?

Also: originally, the story was that the Trump White House refused to allow the incoming Biden administration to retain the followers the Trumpers had for the official WH and POTUS accounts. But it sounds like it’s Twitter’s call, not Trump’s? I mean, I completely believe that Trump and his people are that f–king petty. But I also think Twitter is trying to draw a line between the Trump era and Biden era.

PS… Trump hasn’t been seen in public since December 13th?!? And that was only for a golf outing. Hm.

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Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Getty.

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22 Responses to “Twitter will reset the White House & POTUS accounts with zero followers on Jan. 20”

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  1. Mich says:

    I think this is probably best. Those accounts are riddled with bots. Better to start from scratch.

  2. Megan2 says:

    Is it ok that I kind of hope the reason he hasn’t been seen in public is because he finally had that rage-stroke I’ve been asking Santa for, and now can’t stop drooling and explosively filling those weirdly shaped diapers he wears?

    2021 me will hopefully be a better person. But 2020 me has never wished harder for someone’s humiliating defeat and slow descent into madness and obscurity inside a tiny jail cell.

    • AuntRara says:

      2020 me is right there with you, Megan2. I can’t remember where, but I read an article by a counselor who was also a minister and the basic gist was ‘no, it’s not bad karma to wish evil upon evil people.’ I’m not religious, but that gave me a weird sense of peace. Wish away!

    • pamspam says:

      It’s absolutely ok. My first thought was “good – maybe he’s dead.” So, yeah.

      • lucy2 says:

        Gotta admit, I saw “McConnell” was trending earlier and thought the same thing.

      • terra says:

        @lucy2, Same thing, here.

        I still can’t believe he got re-elected. I mean, I believe it, because the world is a terrible, terrible place, but I also *can’t believe it,* you know?

  3. Sean Corrigan says:

    Did he ever use the official POTUS account? I thought he only ever used his personal account to air his grievances.

    They should reset that one on January 20th after Joe is sworn in just to mess with Trump.

  4. Snuffles says:

    Cheeto was on TV last night to throw a monkey wrench in the stimulus plan.

    As for post January 20th. I want him banned from Twitter and every other social media platform that claims to have any rules and standards.

    I want him AND his kids and cronies tried for every criminal activity they participated in. I want them sued into poverty and oblivion. I want the IRS to fully come for their asses and collect what’s due. Same for all the foreign entities that lent him money. I want all of those boot lickers to slink away from him the second he is out of power and for every last one of them to turn on him and sing like canaries.

    I want every respectable international government and business to shun him and everyone in his orbit.

    I want the world to treat him like the radioactive entity he truly is.

    • Ainsley7 says:

      To be fair, he’s throwing the wrench at the Republicans for being disloyal. Democrats have already said they fully accept giving people $2,000 instead of only $600. I’m hoping it forces the Republicans to agree.

      • Sigmund says:

        I’m a little concerned Trump is doing this to jam things up again though. He included a line about “removing unnecessary spending”. I’m not sure what unnecessary spending looks like to Trump of all people, and while I approve of the higher stimulus checks, I don’t want to see this get held up again.

    • Holly hobby says:

      That “unnecessary spending” is really disingenuous. Most of the money in the budget were what he asked for. He did this to screw people over.

  5. Seraphina says:

    This is to be expected and I believe Twitter stated Trump, since he will be a private citizen, falls under “unprotected” and they can censor him. Thank you Jesus.

  6. Ainsley7 says:

    I’m pretty sure it’s not so much a choice as perhaps Twitters only option. In order to archive Trump’s, it is simplest to change the accounts name and such. So, the @WhiteHouse and @POTUS accounts will likely be new accounts created after the current accounts are changed. There probably isn’t a way to transfer followers from one account to another because other than this super specific scenario, when would that be needed? They can easily use the original accounts to tell the followers to subscribe to the new accounts. No reason to over complicate things.

    • terra says:

      @Ainsley7, except they already did it once, didn’t they? During the transition from Obama to Trump. The article notes that Trump retained all of Obama’s followers, per Obama’s wishes. I do hope that was so non-crazies could be kept up to date on the devolution of the government as we know it, not just general politeness.

  7. GuestwithCat says:

    Good riddance. I followed him because I was following Obama and figured it was good to stay plugged in. But it has been just a stream of consciousness from a madman and it was horrifying and not amusing outside of covfefe.

    His children are, if possible, just as scary. They’re all like androids running on really janky software.

    I’m already following Joe, Jill, and Kamala and some unverified fan accounts that are supposed to belong to the dogs. They’re not boring at all.

    And I do hope the First pets get a verified account. It would be cute. I would not be surprised if the Biden administration does some cute things like that. Their campaign reached out via Animal Crossing, which shows they are creative about engaging voters. President Biden has indicated he intends to set a warm, welcoming, friendly tone and make The White House our house again instead of the bunker of insanity it’s been for the last 4 years.

    I can’t wait I can’t wait I can’t wait.

    • Sigmund says:

      Ooh, I want to follow the dogs! What are their handles?? (Unverified is fine, though I hope there are official ones at some point!)

  8. Charfromdarock says:

    That header picture is just *chef’s kiss* perfect.

  9. Leah says:

    Good. They also need to suspend his personal account.

    I’m interested to see if the Biden kitty will get a Twitter account too seeing as Major and Champ have one.