By Aakriti Bhalla
(Reuters) – Twitter Inc and Facebook Inc will transfer control of the @POTUS account to the Joe Biden administration on Jan. 20, the social media companies said on Saturday.
The @POTUS account on both platforms is the official account of the President of the United States. It is separate from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account and the @DonaldTrump Facebook page that U.S. President Donald Trump mostly uses to write his posts.
“Twitter is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021. As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records,” the company confirmed to Reuters on Saturday.
The social media giants will also hand over other institutional handles – for the White House, vice president and first lady of the United States – on inauguration day.
“In 2017, we worked with both the Obama Administration and incoming Trump Administration to make sure the transition of their Facebook and Instagram accounts was seamless on January 20th, and we expect to do the same here,” Facebook said in response to a query from Reuters.
Politico reported earlier that the handover of the @POTUS Twitter handle requires no sharing of information between the outgoing Trump team and incoming Biden team.
It also reported that Twitter will meet transition officials of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the coming months to discuss the particulars of how the new administration will use Twitter.
Biden, who has reached the two-week mark since becoming president-elect, is preparing to take office on Jan. 20, but Trump has refused to concede and is seeking to invalidate or overturn the results through lawsuits and recounts in a number of states, claiming – without proof – widespread voter fraud.
(Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru and Kanishka Singh; Editing by Andrea Ricci)