Biden crew slams Twitter over plan to wipe followers from White Home accounts

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“Twitter’s reluctance to switch tens of millions of followers from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration unnecessarily politicizes what in any other case needs to be a routine switch of communication from one administration to the subsequent,” Biden-Harris transition spokesperson Cameron French instructed CNN in an announcement on Wednesday.

Almost 4 years later, the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse accounts have 33.2 million and 26 million followers, respectively. Trump, a famously prolific tweeter, will retain management of his private Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, which has 88.5 million followers on the platform.

“The Obama-Biden Administration constructed out social media accounts and followings that have been handed over to the Trump Administration instantly and absolutely upon taking workplace. This wasn’t about politics, it was about making certain no disruption within the capability of the chief department of presidency to immediately talk its insurance policies to the nation,” French stated within the assertion.

He continued, “Particularly in instances of disaster, the American folks deserve entry to data in a wide range of types together with social media.”

“Twitter has didn’t articulate a transparent motive for why they’ve chosen this abrupt reversal in insurance policies, a choice that flies within the face of how different digital platforms are dealing with this transition,” French stated.

A spokesperson for Twitter, Nick Pacilio, instructed CNN in an announcement on Tuesday that the a number of White Home accounts being transferred “is not going to routinely retain their current followers.”

“As a substitute, Twitter will notify followers of those accounts to supply context that the content material will likely be archived and permit them the selection to observe the Biden administration’s new accounts,” Pacilio stated. “For instance, individuals who observe @WhiteHouse will likely be notified that the account has been archived as @WhiteHouse45 and given the choice to observe the brand new @WhiteHouse account.”

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Pacilio didn’t present a motive for the change when requested on Tuesday in a follow-up query by CNN.

On January 20, the day Biden will likely be inaugurated, Twitter will facilitate the switch of @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cupboard and @LaCasaBlanca to the Biden administration, in keeping with Pacilio.

Biden transition official Rob Flaherty tweeted on Tuesday that Twitter had knowledgeable the transition crew that “the Biden administration should begin from zero,” for the White Home accounts.

“In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama’s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — at Workforce 44’s urging,” Flaherty tweeted.

Flaherty stated in a later tweet that this was Twitter’s determination, not the President’s. He stated in a separate tweet directed at Pacilio that he was “completely happy to share the e-mail thread the place we pushed again and we have been instructed this was unequivocal.”

This story has been up to date with an announcement from Biden’s transition crew on Wednesday.

CNN’s Rishi Iyengar and Seth Fiegerman contributed to this report.



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