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The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Twitter to give official presidential account to Biden on inauguration day

Trump will be locked out of the presidential account on inauguration day [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 November, 2020

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The presidential Twitter @POTUS account will be taken from President Donald Trump and given to Joe Biden on inauguration day, the social media giant said.
Twitter will hand control of the presidential @POTUS account to Joe Biden when he is sworn in on inauguration day, even if President Donald Trump has not conceded his election loss, US media reported on Friday.

The social media giant is "actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021," Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio told Politico in an email.

The process is being done in consultation with the National Archives, as it was in 2017, he said.

The handover will see all existing tweets on @POTUS, as well as @FLOTUS, @VP and other official accounts, archived.

The accounts will then be reset to zero tweets and transferred to the incoming Biden White House that day. 

Trump, who still has not conceded his November 3 loss, used Twitter to help build his political brand and, later, wield the power of the presidency - though he mainly uses his personal account, @realDonaldTrump, whose 88 million followers dwarf @POTUS's 32 million.

The @POTUS account is largely used to retweet Trump's personal account as well as the White House and other accounts.

Trump's frequent habit of abruptly announcing new policies on the platform has led to long-standing complaints of governing by tweet.

Twitter has long come under pressure to curb the president's use of the site to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories.

Since the election the company has slapped warning labels on many Trump tweets as he continues to insist, despite evidence to the contrary, that he won the vote, and that Biden's victory is down to massive fraud.

Biden, for his part, is a far more sedate Twitter user. He has sent less than 7,000 tweets to his 19 million followers, compared to Trump's 58,000.

Twitters remarks to support the transition of power comes mounting criticism that Trump’s futile efforts to subvert the results of the 2020 election could do long-lasting damage to democratic traditions.

On Saturday, US media reports said Trump sought to leverage the power of the Oval Office on Friday in an extraordinary attempt to block President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, but his pleas to Michigan lawmakers to overturn the will of their constituents appeared to have left them unswayed.

Trump summoned a delegation of the battleground state’s Republican leadership, including the state's Senate majority leader and House speaker, in an apparent extension of his efforts to persuade judges and election officials in the state to set aside Biden's 154,000-vote margin of victory and grant Trump the state's electors. 

Trump's efforts extended to other states that Biden carried as well, amounting to an unprecedented attempt by a sitting president to maintain his grasp on power, or in failure, to delegitimise his opponent's victory in the eyes of his army of supporters.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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