With just 5(ish) days left to go before Donald Trump finally leaves the White House and Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president, it’s safe to say that the transition of power has been neither smooth nor peaceful. At least in real life that is. Because on Twitter, there is a plan for quickly and smoothly handing the official presidential handles over to the incoming administration.
Twitter laid out that full plan for peacefully handing over the reins of Twitter governance on Thursday night, and they now differ somewhat from what the company said back in December, so pay attention.
First, as soon as Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20, ownership of the current @POTUS (Trump’s official account), @FLOTUS (Melania), @VP (Mike Pence), @SecondLady (Karen Pence), @WhiteHouse (guess), and @Press Sec accounts will be transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
NARA will keep them online as archives, and to reflect that they’ll all also be renamed to make their archival status clear, similar to how Barack Obama’s @Potus became @POTUS44 after he left office. Trump’s former official account will, naturally, be known as @POTUS45.
Second, as soon as these accounts are archived, ownership of the official Executive Branch accounts will transfer over to Biden’s crew. This include @POTUS for Biden, @FLOTUS for Jill Biden, @VP for Kamala Harris, and a completely brand new official account for Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff: @SecondGentleman.
With the exception of Emhoff’s shiny new handle, the other accounts will all be the renamed versions of accounts that already exist: @Transition46 will become @WhiteHouse; @PresElectBiden will become @POTUS; @SenKamalaHarris will become @VP; @FLOTUSBiden will become @FLOTUS; and @PressSecPsaki will become @PressSec. All tweets, account history, and followers will transition when the names change.
Biden let everyone know about this part of the plan on Thursday as well.
Folks — This will be the account for my official duties as President. At 12:01 PM on January 20th, it will become @POTUS. Until then, I'll be using @JoeBiden. And while you're here, follow @FLOTUSBiden @SenKamalaHarris @SecondGentleman and @Transition46.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 15, 2021
One thing to note is that Biden will be bringing all of his current followers with him. But he won’t inherit Trump’s current followers. People who follow the current iterations of those accounts will be notified when the transition comes and be given the opportunity to follow the new versions. Also, per Twitter, “the new institutional accounts will also be listed in Twitter’s US Elections Hub during the presidential inauguration.”
And yes, to answer your question: When all of this happens, Trump will no longer have any access to Twitter at all since, as everyone knows, he was permanently banned from the platform after he incited a violent insurrectionist mob in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.