Twitter has informed U.S. President-elect Joe Biden's team that President Donald Trump's followers will not carry over to the official accounts assigned to Biden's team in January.
According to Bloomberg, this move would mean that Biden's administration will have to start with zero followers, which would severely hamper the incoming President's ability to instantly reach millions of Americans on Twitter.
Currently, the @POTUS account has more than 33 million followers, while the @WhiteHouse account has 26 million followers.
Biden team pushed back against this decision
According to Rob Flaherty, the digital director for Biden's campaign, the Biden team pushed back against Twitter's move via email.
However, they were reportedly told that this decision was "unequivocal".
Flaherty pointed out that Twitter's latest move was a departure from what happened in 2016, where the Trump administration absorbed all of then-President Obama's twitter followers, after the Obama team urged Twitter to allow it.
In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama's Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse -- at Team 44's urging.— Rob Flaherty (@Rob_Flaherty) December 22, 2020
In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero. https://t.co/wj1R02SmiK
According to Bloomberg, the Twitter accounts of the first lady, @FLOTUS, and the White House press secretary, @PressSec, which have over 16 million and 6 million followers respectively, will also be reset to zero.
Followers will be given the option to follow the new Biden accounts
On Inauguration Day 2017, both @POTUS and @WhiteHouse boasted more than 13 million followers.
When Trump was sworn in, the @POTUS account was changed to @POTUS44, which served as an archive of Obama's official tweets during his time as President.
Followers of that account were automatically added as followers to the newly created @POTUS account for Trump.
Now, Twitter users who follow the current White House accounts will be notified that the account will be changed to @POTUS45, which will similarly serve as an archive of Trump's tweets during his Presidency.
However, they will not be migrated to the Biden administration's accounts automatically.
Instead, they will be given the option to follow those accounts, via a one-time front page notification.
Top image via Joe Biden/FB.