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Trump to lose @POTUS Twitter account on January 20

  • November 21, 2020

United States President Donald Trump is poised to lose one of the tools in his mass communication arsenal when the @POTUS Twitter account transfers to President-elect Joe Biden following his January 20 inauguration.

A spokesperson for the US-based company told Reuters news agency on Saturday that representatives would meet with Biden’s transition team to sort out the details of the transfer, which requires no sharing of information from the Trump administration.

The spokesman said the “process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration”.

While Trump more regularly uses his personal @RealDonaldTrump account, which has 88.9 million followers, he has used the official presidential account, which has 32.8 million followers, to amplify those messages throughout his presidency.

The @POTUS account, as well as the @WhiteHouse, @VP [Vice President], and @FLOTUS [First lady] official accounts will be archived and reset to zero tweets for the incoming administration, according to Politico.

Loss of protection

While Biden was declared the winner of the US presidential election and is currently projected to win 306 Electoral College votes, far above the 270 votes needed for victory, Trump has refused to concede.

He has alleged, without evidence, that widespread fraud and voting irregularities took place.

Dubious claims, regularly made via Trump’s social media accounts, often earn the president cautionary labels from Twitter.

The Trump administration has so far not cooperated with Biden’s transition team, which officials warn could undermine the COVID-19 pandemic response and national security in the early days of a Biden administration.

A growing chorus of bipartisan observers have called for the process to begin in earnest.

Meanwhile, the official @POTUS handle is not the only Twitter privilege Trump is set to lose when his term ends in January.

During a testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said the company’s policy is to label and reduce the spread of tweets from world leaders that violate the platform’s terms of service – but to keep those tweets publicly available.

“If an account is not a world leader any more, that particular policy goes away,” Dorsey told the committee.

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