Twitter blasted for giving Trump ‘advantage’ as Biden fails to secure POTUS followers
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Twitter announced the move in a blog post this week which explained to its users how the transition of power will work in regards to the presidential accounts. The social media platform has made headlines recently for its decision to permanently ban Mr Trump’s personal account from its platform.
Now, Twitter has said that control of official US Government accounts including @POTUS, @WhiteHouse and @FLOTUS will be taken away from their current users such as Donald and Melania Trump and handed over to Mr Biden and his team.
However, the social media giant has faced criticism over the fact that current followers of the POTUS account will not automatically be transferred.
Instead, it will start with zero followers and users will be notified on Mr Biden’s inauguration day that they can follow the new POTUS account if they wish.
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Members of Mr Biden’s team have hit out at the decision, accusing it of putting Mr Biden at a disadvantage compared to Mr Trump.
When Donald Trump inherited the @POTUS account from Barack Obama in 2017, followers were automatically transferred.
Rob Flaherty, digital director for Mr Biden’s transition, hit out at Twitter for the move.
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Speaking to Bloomberg, he accused the platform of “advantaging the first days of President Trump’s first days of the Administration over ours.”
Mr Flaherty added: “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.”
He also claimed other social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube are due to automatically transfer followers.
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In its blog post, Twitter did not explain why it has made the decision not to follow suit.
Twitter also made no mention of Donald Trump’s personal @realDonaldTrump account, from which he made his most controversial and significant tweets.
The White House declared in 2017 that tweets from @realDonaldTrump are considered official presidential statements.
The account was recently suspended indefinitely by Twitter over concerns about further violence following last week’s pro-Trump protests at the US Capitol.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s current POTUS account will be archived and renamed @POTUS45.
Twitter has not stated whether or not it will archive @realDonaldTrump’s tweets, but the US National Archives have confirmed they will be doing so.
Joe Biden, in preparation for taking the @POTUS name, has created a new account @PresElectBiden from scratch, which will be turned into @POTUS on inauguration day, and followers between those two accounts will be transferred.
At the time of writing, @PresElectBiden has just over 880,000 followers, while Donald Trump’s @POTUS account has over 33 million.
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