Twitter prepares for US presidential inauguration, transition of accounts

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Twitter prepares for US presidential inauguration, transition of accounts
Twitter users will be able to watch the inauguration on Twitter, as well as observe the transition of the White House Twitter accounts to the Biden administration

Twitter on Thursday, January 14, said it was gearing up for the US presidential inauguration by outlining its plans for the transition of the various accounts related to President-elect Joe Biden’s administration.

In a blog post, Twitter said it will be transferring current institutional accounts to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to back up the tweets and account history and allow them to remain publicly available.

The Trump administration @POTUS account will be archived as @POTUS45, for example.

Twitter noted how the transition of power would be visible in real-time, at least on the social media service, as relevant accounts’ institutional usernames are changed for the White House, President, Vice President, First Lady and the White House Press Secretary, with the ownership of those accounts transferred to the Biden administration.

Twitter explained, “@Transition46 will become @WhiteHouse, @PresElectBiden will become @POTUS, @SenKamalaHarris will become @VP, @FLOTUSBiden will become @FLOTUS, and @PressSecPsaki will become @PressSec,” adding their tweets, account history, and followers will make the transition as well.

The institutional accounts will not automatically retain the followers from the prior administration, Twitter added. Users who previously followed White House Twitter accounts, or who follow relevant accounts of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, will get alerts or prompts informing them of the archival process and provide options to follow the new administration accounts.

The inauguration proper

The 2021 inauguration ceremony and the coverage surrounding it will be available on Twitter through live streams from multiple news outlets as well as from official inauguration feeds on Twitter, such as @JCCIC and @BidenInaugural.

Twitter’s US Elections Hub, meanwhile, will have curated Moments, Lists, and accounts-to-follow recommendations from trusted and official sources.

The company also said it will be working to protect the public conversation on the service from devolving into incitements for violence or attacks, as well as preventing the spread of “deliberately misleading information about the election outcome.”

“These efforts, including our open lines of communication with law enforcement, will continue through the inauguration and will adapt as needed if circumstances change in real-time,” Twitter added. –

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Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.