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Twitter transfers White Home accounts to Biden: What you need to know

Twitter is, among other issues, a digital megaphone for politicians and authorities officials.


Angela Lang/CNET

Joe Biden’s presidency is social media formal. On Wednesday, Twitter transferred the White Residence accounts to the new presidential administration. Which is significant due to the fact politicians and government officers use these accounts to reach hundreds of thousands of Individuals with the click on of a button. 

“Institutional White Dwelling Twitter accounts have now been transitioned from the Trump administration to the Biden administration,” Twitter mentioned in a statement Wednesday.

The transfer of the formal presidential Twitter accounts 1st took place in 2017 when Barack Obama, the first president to use Twitter, departed and Donald Trump took workplace. In contrast to 2017, though, Biden did not immediately inherit the followers from the prior administration, a change his crew wasn’t happy about. 

Before this month, Biden’s workforce released a new Twitter account, @PresElectBiden, which had extra than 940,300 followers on Tuesday. Slightly in advance of noon Wednesday, that account grew to become @POTUS. The @POTUS account currently has 3.5 million followers.

“There is no time to squander when it arrives to tackling the crises we deal with. That’s why nowadays, I am heading to the Oval Workplace to get suitable to get the job done offering bold action and quick relief for American people,” Biden said in his first tweet from @POTUS.

This is what you require to know about the social media transfer of power:

What transpired to the latest White House accounts employed by the Trump administration?

You can however check out the old tweets posted by the Trump administration, but they are archived on line. The usernames of these accounts changed so people know the handover happened. When Obama remaining business office in 2017, for case in point, @POTUS grew to become @POTUS44 and you can still watch tweets from that account. The very same course of action occurred with the Trump administration, whose tweets were being publicly archived below the title @POTUS45. Trump also experienced a personalized Twitter account he chosen to use, but that was pulled down by the organization for violating its rules against glorifying violence, in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol.

The Trump administration Twitter accounts that are now publicly archived include @WhiteHouse45, @VP45, @PressSec45, @FLOTUS45 and @SecondLady45.

How did Twitter transfer the presidential accounts to Biden’s staff?

Biden’s transition staff was currently making use of Twitter in advance of Inauguration Day on Jan. 20, but the accounts experienced different names. People usernames modified when Biden formally took in excess of the White Residence. @Changeover46 became @WhiteHouse, @PresElectBiden became @POTUS, @SenKamalaHarris became @VP, @FLOTUSBiden became @FLOTUS, and @PressSecPsaki became @PressSec. The social media company also produced a new account, @SecondGentleman, for Douglas Emhoff, the spouse of Kamala Harris, the to start with lady ever to be elected US vice president. 

In her to start with tweet from the @VP account, Harris tweeted “Ready to provide.”

Did these new White Property accounts instantly keep followers from the prior administration?

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Twitter alerted people of the new White Household account with this discover at the major of their timelines. 


Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

No. Twitter claimed in a website submit before the inauguration that users who adopted these White Household accounts or the accounts utilized by Biden’s changeover staff would be notified about the transfer and specified the possibility to observe the accounts made use of by the new administration. Twitter users obtained an notify Wednesday that claimed, “There’s a new @WhiteHouse. Comply with the most up-to-date from the new @WhiteHouse.”

The firm also additional a notice at the top of the internet site, alerting consumers to the change. Twitter outlined these accounts in an on the web hub for US elections, so you can locate them there as properly.

Why did not Twitter quickly transfer followers of the White Property accounts to Biden?

Twitter failed to give a cause in its blog article about the company’s inauguration plans. The Wall Road Journal noted in December that some buyers complained about the transfer approach for the duration of the 2017 handover of White Dwelling accounts, which was marred by some technological complications.

Biden’s workforce, nevertheless, was not pleased with Twitter’s conclusion due to the fact it could restrict the range of individuals the new president will be equipped to arrive at. Rob Flaherty, the digital director for Biden’s presidential marketing campaign, stated in a tweet in late December that Biden’s crew pushed back again from the notion but was “told this was unequivocal.”

The corporation didn’t right away respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. CNET also achieved out to Twitter in December about the rationale powering the determination but wasn’t supplied an rationalization.

The new @WhiteHouse account now has 2.5 million followers. The White Home account made use of by the Trump administration, which is now archived as @WhiteHouse45, experienced 26 million followers.