Sat 21 November 2020:
The presidential @POTUS Twitter handle will automatically transfer to President-elect Joe Biden the moment he’s sworn in at noon on Inauguration Day.
The social media giant is “actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021,” Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio told Politico in an email.
The process is being done in consultation with the National Archives, as it was in 2017, he said.
The handover will see all existing tweets on @POTUS, as well as @FLOTUS, @VP and other official accounts, archived.
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The accounts will then be reset to zero tweets and transferred to the incoming Biden White House that day.
Twitter said its representatives will meet with Biden-Harris transition officials in the coming months to discuss the particulars of how the new administrations will use Twitter.
Trump, who still has not conceded his Nov. 3 loss, used Twitter to help build his political brand and, later, wield the power of the presidency – though he mainly uses his personal account, @realDonaldTrump, whose 88 million followers dwarf @POTUS’ 32 million.
Trump’s frequent habit of abruptly announcing new policies on the platform has led to long-standing complaints of governing by tweet.
Twitter has long come under pressure to curb the president’s use of the site to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.
Before election day in 2016, the Obama White House published a robust plan for the transition of its digital assets to the next President of the United States.
When President Barack Obama left office in 2017 to make way for Trump, the Obama White House accounts were shifted to archived accounts under the management of the National Archives and Records Administration. For example, President Obama’s tweets that had lived at @POTUS were housed under @POTUS44, and the account locked.
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