Biden Twitter account 'starts from zero' with no Trump followers
Published : Saturday, 16 January, 2021 at 12:19 AM Count : 188
US president-elect Joe Biden has been given his new official presidential Twitter account, but has been forced to start it with zero followers.
The Biden campaign is unhappy with the move, which marks a change from the previous transition from Barack Obama.
The new account, @PresElectBiden, will transform into the official @POTUS (President of the United States) one on inauguration day on 20 January.
In its first six hours online it gained nearly 400,000 followers.
Mr Biden's own account has 24 million followers.
His team has also registered new accounts - @FLOTUSBiden for the future first lady, Jill Biden, and for the first time, @SecondGentleman, for Ms Harris's husband Doug Emhoff.
'Start from zero'
Donald Trump inherited the Potus account's 13 million or so followers when it moved to him from Mr Obama - but that will not happen this time.
Mr Biden's team was told about the move less than a month ago, and said it meant "the administration will have to start from zero".
Twitter has not explained why the decision was made, and said it had nothing further to add beyond an official blog post laying out transition plans.
In that post it said: "These institutional accounts will not automatically retain the followers from the prior administration," without a reason why.
But it said that people who previously followed the official @POTUS and @VP (Vice-President) accounts, or the personal accounts of Mr Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris - would receive notifications giving them the option to follow the new official ones.