Twitter to Hand Over @POTUS Account to Biden on Inauguration Day: What Does That Mean?

Before it is officially transferred to the Biden administration, Twitter will archive all the existing content of the account.

Twitter has finally let the world know what it thinks about the US Presidential Election results. The microblogging site said on Friday that it has decided to officially hand over the @POTUS account to the President-elect Joe Biden on Inauguration Day. And it will do it even if President Donald Trump refuses to concede defeat.

The decision comes as Trump continues to deny his loss to Biden in this year's election, which has also led him to file lawsuits in several states alleging voter fraud. Twitter and Trump have had a strange relationship over the past few years, with the social media platform having flagged the President's messages on numerous occasions citing them to violent in nature.

Biden Is New POTUS

Joe Biden
President-elect Joe Biden Wikimedia commons

Twitter is not ready to keep guessing what Trump does over the next few days. On Friday, it said that is going ahead with its plans of handing over the @POTUS account to the Biden administration on the Inauguration Day. "Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20, 2021," a Twitter spokesperson told The Verge.

Twitter said that it is doing everything in accordance with the rule and in consultation with federal authorities. "As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration," the spokesperson added.

Not only the @POTUS, Twitter will also be handing about a dozen White House accounts on the same day, including the @VP, @FLOTUS and @PressSec accounts.

Zero Tweet, Zero Followers

The shadows of people holding mobile phones are cast onto a backdrop projected with the Twitter logo in this illustration picture taken in Warsaw September 27, 2013 Kacper Pempel/Reuters

The handing over of the account follows an intricate process. Before these accounts are officially transferred to the Biden administration, Twitter will be archiving all the existing content of all the accounts. This means the content so far available on the @POUTUS and other official White House accounts won't any longer be visible.

Instead it will be shifted to a new account in the form of an archive of what Trump had been tweeting over the past four years. (Here's how a Barack Obama @POTUS archive looks). The new accounts will be reset to zero tweets and zero followers.

On the other hand Trump will continue to have control over his personal account @realDonaldTrump, with no changes to its content. However, since Trump will cease to be the President, his account will also lose the special protections it used get due to his status as a world leader. This means Trump's account will be reduced to just an ordinary account, just like other users on Twitter.

Join the Discussion