Apology from Twitter after 500,000 users made to follow @POTUS

In a major transition of power “oops,” Twitter accidentally forced more than half a million people to follow Donald Trump’s new @POTUS account when it made the shift from being President Barack Obama’s @POTUS account. The well-intentioned yet seriously flawed event was actually an effort to preserve the original @POTUS tweets and still attribute them to Obama, rather than leave them in the new account.


Whether or not the attempted shift was based on the public’s fears that the former President’s tweets would be deleted is not relevant. Twitter handled the issue by creating two distinct accounts, @POTUS44 for President Obama, designating his account as the 44th Presidential administration, and @POTUS for Trump. The current @POTUS account profile states that it is run by Dan Scavino, and tweets with the “DJT” designation at the end are actually those of Trump.

While the POTUS account might have some support from a social media manager, the current President is still tweeting from his personal account, one that was made quite famous by his own flavor of social media posts. There is some overlap between the two accounts though, as some tweets appear under both Twitter handles.

Twitter’s seemingly heartfelt apology included an explanation as to how the incident occurred, namely that people who were following @POTUS prior to the transition of power deadline were autofollowed to the @POTUS44 account and to the current @POTUS account. Unfortunately, users were quite vocal about the fact that some who’d never been following @POTUS (and other White House-related accounts) in the first place were forced to follow them after the transition.

Trump and his team have had a love-hate relationship with the social media platform, as evidenced by his rather “quirky” rants on what seems to be his favorite form of media. He has been quoted as saying he wouldn’t even need to tweet if the mainstream media could be trusted to tell the truth. However, at one of his pre-inaugural meetings with different major players in web-based news, Twitter was unexpectedly excluded on the grounds that it was “too small” to have any input in the meeting.

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