November 15, 2016

What Happens to Presidential Social Media Accounts?

Michelle Greenbaum


For the first time in United States history, our new president will be receiving not only the nuclear codes, but social media passwords too. As the first U.S. president to tweet, stream live on Facebook, and use a Snapchat filter, President Barack Obama has been dubbed by the White House as “the social media president” — but what happens to @POTUS when Obama is no longer POTUS?

Once inaugurated, there will be a peaceful transition of passwords as Trump will take over the @POTUS Twitter handle. He is presumed to keep his @realdonaldtrump handle too (yes, that means double the Trump tweets). All of Obama’s @POTUS tweets will be preserved by the National Archives and Records Administration and available for view on a new, government-maintained handle, @POTUS44. Trump will keep Obama’s nearly 12 million followers, but his presidency will begin with a content-free timeline. The incoming president will also gain access to the White House Instagram and Facebook accounts, while Obama’s content will be archived on new pages.

Oh, and if you’re thinking about getting ahead and reserving the next batch of POTUS social handles to hold for ransom, you’re too late. I already tried.

Tags: Twitter

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