Twitter has signaled that it will hand the “@POTUS” account – reserved for the sitting US president – to Joe Biden, despite no winner being formally declared and regardless of whether Donald Trump concedes.
“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021,” Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio said in a statement emailed to reporters on Friday, adding that the tech giant would pass off the @POTUS, @whitehouse, @VP, @FLOTUS and other government-related handles to the Biden team.
As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration.
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The company also noted that it would soon sit down with the Biden-Harris transition team to better understand how the new administration plans to use the accounts, the current versions of which will be archived and reset on Inauguration Day.
Although a number of media outlets have dubbed Biden the informal victor based on his current standing in the Electoral College – garnering 36 more votes than the 270 needed to win – Twitter’s announcement comes before any winner has been officially declared. President Trump continues to assert the election was stolen from him through widespread voter fraud, but while he and allies have launched a flurry of lawsuits across key battleground states challenging the results of the race, none have yet offered compelling evidence for misconduct.
While in office, Trump has opted to tweet from his personal handle, @realDonaldTrump, instead of the official presidential account, and has increasingly become the target of a Twitter censorship crackdown. His messages alleging election fraud have been routinely flagged by Twitter as “disputed” and hidden by the platform from his millions of followers.
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