When the official presidential Twitter handle changed hands yesterday, a number of users began to notice that they were following the account, even if they hadn’t followed it or had recently unfollowed it.
According to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, when the accounts were transitioned from one to the other, those who followed @POTUS before the inauguration (at noon) ended up following two accounts: @POTUS and @POTUS44.
Dorsey noted that this was because those individuals “were mistakenly set to also follow @POTUS”, while “some people who unfollowed @POTUS in the past were mistakenly marked to now follow @POTUS.”
Obama tweeted as @POTUS during his time in office, and with the transfer of power, his tweets were shifted to a new account, @POTUS44, while the @POTUS handle went to President Donald Trump (although he says that he will continue to Tweet via his regular handle, @realdonaldtrump). However, users who had begun to follow @POTUS44 found that they were also following @POTUS, even if they’d unfollowed it before the handover,, and took to Twitter to complain that they were now following the account, which prompted an investigation from the company.
We believe we've corrected all accounts to reflect your follow/unfollow intent. We're sorry for the mistakes made here, and thank you all.— jack (@jack) January 21, 2017
Replying to a user on Twitter, Dorsey noted that this was the first time that the company had ever tried such a transition on this scale.