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Transition Between White House Social Media Accounts More Complicated Than in 2016

Samuel Triginelli

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January 21, 2021—Tech platforms are approaching the 2021 presidential transition with caution, lest their tools get used to livestream another historic insurrection, after providing the platforms which amplified ideology that resulted in a problematic string of events preceding Donald Trump’s last days in office.

As has been common practice, after the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, which saw Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, the control of many government-run social media accounts transitioned from the public communications teams behind former President Trump to the social media strategists of the Biden administration.

This time around, many platforms decided to take a different approach to transitioning government-led social media accounts. Transitions were previously done in a mannerly way: the former presidential communications team would grant access to the incoming administration’s team.

Yet, many platforms, especially Twitter, are taking more precautions with the 2021 account transitions. Precautions which may impact the scope of the incoming administration.

Upon being sworn in, Biden’s existing Twitter account, @PresElectBiden, became @POTUS. The outgoing Trump administration’s tweets and account history, which previously existed under the username @POTUS, is archived as @POTUS45 and remains publicly available.

Biden must start @POTUS Tweet follower count from scratch

Unlike Trump, Biden will have to start his presidential tweeting from scratch. Twitter announced late last year that the transitioning @POTUS, and other institutional accounts, would not automatically retain followers from the prior administration. This is notable change from 2017 when Trump inherited the 14 million followers of President Barack Obama’s @POTUS account.

In a blog post last week, Twitter reiterated that the then 33.3 million followers of @POTUS, and other official accounts, would receive a notification about the archival process, which includes the option to follow the new holders of the accounts.

“People on Twitter who previously followed institutional White House Twitter accounts or those who currently follow relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts will receive in-app alerts and other prompts that will notify them about the archival process, as well as give them the option to follow the new administration’s Twitter accounts,” reads the post.

On top of Biden’s upgrade to @POTUS status, Vice President Kamala Harris’s Twitter handle, originally @SenKamalaHarris, has been rebranded to @VP. Harris retained the millions of followers her account bolsters. The Biden transition team’s Twitter account, @Transition46, became the new official White House account, @WhiteHouse. Other account holders that were renamed after the inauguration include @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @SecondGentleman.

A similar course of action was taken by Instagram. The platform turned Biden’s existing account into an official government page.

Alternatively, YouTube took the approach of passing down existing government accounts to the new administration. Rob Flaherty, the director of the digital strategy for Biden’s administration, viewed this as a positive thing. “There is value in being able to communicate with an audience that doesn’t agree with us,” he said.

Platforms are seemingly updating their transition strategies in response to the outgoing president, who did not use official accounts often. Instead, Trump preferred using his personal Twitter account, which boasted a higher number of followers.

During Trump’s time in office, official government accounts grew significantly in numbers. To prevent the spread of hate and incitement of violence online, platforms continue to take ongoing precautions with world leaders. Trump’s personal Twitter account @realDonaldTrump is permanently suspended for provoking violence.

Social Media

Josh Hawley Wants To Break Up Big Tech And Revisit How Antitrust Matters Are Considered

Senator Josh Hawley talks Section 230, antitrust reform, and the Capitol riots.

Benjamin Kahn

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on

Josh Hawley, right, via Flickr

January 21, 2021—Tech platforms are approaching the 2021 presidential transition with caution, lest their tools get used to livestream another historic insurrection, after providing the platforms which amplified ideology that resulted in a problematic string of events preceding Donald Trump’s last days in office.

As has been common practice, after the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, which saw Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, the control of many government-run social media accounts transitioned from the public communications teams behind former President Trump to the social media strategists of the Biden administration.

This time around, many platforms decided to take a different approach to transitioning government-led social media accounts. Transitions were previously done in a mannerly way: the former presidential communications team would grant access to the incoming administration’s team.

Yet, many platforms, especially Twitter, are taking more precautions with the 2021 account transitions. Precautions which may impact the scope of the incoming administration.

Upon being sworn in, Biden’s existing Twitter account, @PresElectBiden, became @POTUS. The outgoing Trump administration’s tweets and account history, which previously existed under the username @POTUS, is archived as @POTUS45 and remains publicly available.

Biden must start @POTUS Tweet follower count from scratch

Unlike Trump, Biden will have to start his presidential tweeting from scratch. Twitter announced late last year that the transitioning @POTUS, and other institutional accounts, would not automatically retain followers from the prior administration. This is notable change from 2017 when Trump inherited the 14 million followers of President Barack Obama’s @POTUS account.

In a blog post last week, Twitter reiterated that the then 33.3 million followers of @POTUS, and other official accounts, would receive a notification about the archival process, which includes the option to follow the new holders of the accounts.

“People on Twitter who previously followed institutional White House Twitter accounts or those who currently follow relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts will receive in-app alerts and other prompts that will notify them about the archival process, as well as give them the option to follow the new administration’s Twitter accounts,” reads the post.

On top of Biden’s upgrade to @POTUS status, Vice President Kamala Harris’s Twitter handle, originally @SenKamalaHarris, has been rebranded to @VP. Harris retained the millions of followers her account bolsters. The Biden transition team’s Twitter account, @Transition46, became the new official White House account, @WhiteHouse. Other account holders that were renamed after the inauguration include @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @SecondGentleman.

A similar course of action was taken by Instagram. The platform turned Biden’s existing account into an official government page.

Alternatively, YouTube took the approach of passing down existing government accounts to the new administration. Rob Flaherty, the director of the digital strategy for Biden’s administration, viewed this as a positive thing. “There is value in being able to communicate with an audience that doesn’t agree with us,” he said.

Platforms are seemingly updating their transition strategies in response to the outgoing president, who did not use official accounts often. Instead, Trump preferred using his personal Twitter account, which boasted a higher number of followers.

During Trump’s time in office, official government accounts grew significantly in numbers. To prevent the spread of hate and incitement of violence online, platforms continue to take ongoing precautions with world leaders. Trump’s personal Twitter account @realDonaldTrump is permanently suspended for provoking violence.

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Social Media

Oversight Board Upholds Trump’s Ban From Facebook

The Oversight Board has sent the decision back to Facebook management, criticizing it for setting a “standardless” penalty.

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

January 21, 2021—Tech platforms are approaching the 2021 presidential transition with caution, lest their tools get used to livestream another historic insurrection, after providing the platforms which amplified ideology that resulted in a problematic string of events preceding Donald Trump’s last days in office.

As has been common practice, after the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, which saw Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, the control of many government-run social media accounts transitioned from the public communications teams behind former President Trump to the social media strategists of the Biden administration.

This time around, many platforms decided to take a different approach to transitioning government-led social media accounts. Transitions were previously done in a mannerly way: the former presidential communications team would grant access to the incoming administration’s team.

Yet, many platforms, especially Twitter, are taking more precautions with the 2021 account transitions. Precautions which may impact the scope of the incoming administration.

Upon being sworn in, Biden’s existing Twitter account, @PresElectBiden, became @POTUS. The outgoing Trump administration’s tweets and account history, which previously existed under the username @POTUS, is archived as @POTUS45 and remains publicly available.

Biden must start @POTUS Tweet follower count from scratch

Unlike Trump, Biden will have to start his presidential tweeting from scratch. Twitter announced late last year that the transitioning @POTUS, and other institutional accounts, would not automatically retain followers from the prior administration. This is notable change from 2017 when Trump inherited the 14 million followers of President Barack Obama’s @POTUS account.

In a blog post last week, Twitter reiterated that the then 33.3 million followers of @POTUS, and other official accounts, would receive a notification about the archival process, which includes the option to follow the new holders of the accounts.

“People on Twitter who previously followed institutional White House Twitter accounts or those who currently follow relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts will receive in-app alerts and other prompts that will notify them about the archival process, as well as give them the option to follow the new administration’s Twitter accounts,” reads the post.

On top of Biden’s upgrade to @POTUS status, Vice President Kamala Harris’s Twitter handle, originally @SenKamalaHarris, has been rebranded to @VP. Harris retained the millions of followers her account bolsters. The Biden transition team’s Twitter account, @Transition46, became the new official White House account, @WhiteHouse. Other account holders that were renamed after the inauguration include @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @SecondGentleman.

A similar course of action was taken by Instagram. The platform turned Biden’s existing account into an official government page.

Alternatively, YouTube took the approach of passing down existing government accounts to the new administration. Rob Flaherty, the director of the digital strategy for Biden’s administration, viewed this as a positive thing. “There is value in being able to communicate with an audience that doesn’t agree with us,” he said.

Platforms are seemingly updating their transition strategies in response to the outgoing president, who did not use official accounts often. Instead, Trump preferred using his personal Twitter account, which boasted a higher number of followers.

During Trump’s time in office, official government accounts grew significantly in numbers. To prevent the spread of hate and incitement of violence online, platforms continue to take ongoing precautions with world leaders. Trump’s personal Twitter account @realDonaldTrump is permanently suspended for provoking violence.

Continue Reading

Courts

Supreme Court Declares Trump First Amendment Case Moot, But Legal Issues For Social Media Coming

Benjamin Kahn

Published

on

Photo of Justice Clarence Thomas in April 2017 by Preston Keres in the public domain

January 21, 2021—Tech platforms are approaching the 2021 presidential transition with caution, lest their tools get used to livestream another historic insurrection, after providing the platforms which amplified ideology that resulted in a problematic string of events preceding Donald Trump’s last days in office.

As has been common practice, after the presidential inauguration on Wednesday, which saw Joe Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, the control of many government-run social media accounts transitioned from the public communications teams behind former President Trump to the social media strategists of the Biden administration.

This time around, many platforms decided to take a different approach to transitioning government-led social media accounts. Transitions were previously done in a mannerly way: the former presidential communications team would grant access to the incoming administration’s team.

Yet, many platforms, especially Twitter, are taking more precautions with the 2021 account transitions. Precautions which may impact the scope of the incoming administration.

Upon being sworn in, Biden’s existing Twitter account, @PresElectBiden, became @POTUS. The outgoing Trump administration’s tweets and account history, which previously existed under the username @POTUS, is archived as @POTUS45 and remains publicly available.

Biden must start @POTUS Tweet follower count from scratch

Unlike Trump, Biden will have to start his presidential tweeting from scratch. Twitter announced late last year that the transitioning @POTUS, and other institutional accounts, would not automatically retain followers from the prior administration. This is notable change from 2017 when Trump inherited the 14 million followers of President Barack Obama’s @POTUS account.

In a blog post last week, Twitter reiterated that the then 33.3 million followers of @POTUS, and other official accounts, would receive a notification about the archival process, which includes the option to follow the new holders of the accounts.

“People on Twitter who previously followed institutional White House Twitter accounts or those who currently follow relevant Biden or Harris Twitter accounts will receive in-app alerts and other prompts that will notify them about the archival process, as well as give them the option to follow the new administration’s Twitter accounts,” reads the post.

On top of Biden’s upgrade to @POTUS status, Vice President Kamala Harris’s Twitter handle, originally @SenKamalaHarris, has been rebranded to @VP. Harris retained the millions of followers her account bolsters. The Biden transition team’s Twitter account, @Transition46, became the new official White House account, @WhiteHouse. Other account holders that were renamed after the inauguration include @FLOTUS, @PressSec, and @SecondGentleman.

A similar course of action was taken by Instagram. The platform turned Biden’s existing account into an official government page.

Alternatively, YouTube took the approach of passing down existing government accounts to the new administration. Rob Flaherty, the director of the digital strategy for Biden’s administration, viewed this as a positive thing. “There is value in being able to communicate with an audience that doesn’t agree with us,” he said.

Platforms are seemingly updating their transition strategies in response to the outgoing president, who did not use official accounts often. Instead, Trump preferred using his personal Twitter account, which boasted a higher number of followers.

During Trump’s time in office, official government accounts grew significantly in numbers. To prevent the spread of hate and incitement of violence online, platforms continue to take ongoing precautions with world leaders. Trump’s personal Twitter account @realDonaldTrump is permanently suspended for provoking violence.

Continue Reading

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