Typical Socialists: Biden's Team Whines They Won't Get WH Twitter Followers That Trump Earned and They Didn't


There are two things you, as a savvy media consumer, don’t need pointed out to you. I’ll point them out anyway:

a) Social media platforms change the game midstream. Liberals aren’t usually averse to this. In fact, they tend to demand it when things don’t shake out their way. When Twitter began slapping warning tags on almost any politician or pundit who didn’t treat mail-in voting as if it were the greatest thing to happen to the U.S. Postal Service since it came up with stamps we didn’t have to lick, a big warning label was put onto their tweet — if the tweet was visible at all. Liberals were happy about this. They wished Facebook, which does plenty of censoring of its own (and usually not involving The Young Turks) was more like its nice cousin Twitter.

b) Donald Trump is more interesting on Twitter than Joe Biden. Period. This doesn’t even need to be explained. Here’s a quick object lesson using two of their Christmas tweets:

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Joe Biden loses and he used dogs. Any dog owner will tell you that dogs + social media usually = win. Plus, there’s that weirdness revolving around the one dog that broke Biden’s foot. And yet, “Fake News not invited!” makes a random announcement about talking to service members across the globe seem way more interesting.

So, as it turns out, the rules for transferring Twitter accounts between administrations will work a bit differently than they did in 2016. Then, when Trump inherited the @POTUS handle, he also inherited Barack Obama’s followers. Trump didn’t much like the @POTUS Twitter account, using his @realDonaldTrump one for most of the juicy stuff.

Should Joe Biden get Donald Trump's Twitter followers?

That being said, @POTUS had 13 million followers when it was transferred from Obama to Trump in 2017, according to CNN. It now has 33 million followers. The @WhiteHouse account, also transferred from Obama to Trump, went from 13 million to 26 million followers.

This was the first transfer of the official accounts of the presidency and the White House from one president to another. This time, Twitter — as is their wont — has changed the rules. Now, the followers won’t be automatically retained when the company transfers them to Biden’s team, should Biden be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

“Instead, Twitter will notify followers of these accounts to provide context that the content will be archived and allow them the choice to follow the Biden administration’s new accounts,” Twitter spokesman Nick Pacilio said last week.

“For example, people who follow @WhiteHouse will be notified that the account has been archived as @WhiteHouse45 and given the option to follow the new @WhiteHouse account.”

The official accounts — @WhiteHouse, @POTUS, @VP, @FLOTUS, @PressSec, @Cabinet and @LaCasaBlanca — will be transferred the same way.

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So naturally, Biden’s people are having a meltdown because Big Tech changed the rules in the middle of the game. They want Big Tech socialism. All of those users President Trump earned need to be redistributed to them, apparently.

“In 2016, the Trump admin absorbed all of President Obama’s Twitter followers on @POTUS and @WhiteHouse — at Team 44’s urging,” Biden digital director Rob Flaherty tweeted.

“In 2020, Twitter has informed us that as of right now the Biden administration will have to start from zero.”

Which isn’t exactly true, but whatever. Biden still has his personal account, which has almost 22 million followers. Not quite the 88 million Trump has built up, but maybe some more pictures of those dogs will give Biden a real boost.

In a Dec. 23 statement, Biden-Harris transition spokesperson Cameron French told CNN that “Twitter’s reluctance to transfer millions of followers from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration unnecessarily politicizes what otherwise should be a routine transfer of communication from one administration to the next.”

“The Obama-Biden Administration built out social media accounts and followings that were handed over to the Trump Administration immediately and fully upon taking office. This wasn’t about politics, it was about ensuring no disruption in the ability of the executive branch of government to directly communicate its policies to the country,” he continued.

“Especially in times of crisis, the American people deserve access to information in a variety of forms including social media.”

Except that nobody is stopping anyone from following @POTUS again. They’re explicitly being given the option to follow the new administration’s tweets from that account if they want to.

There are plenty of people who don’t, which I’m sure Mr. French is aware of. What he wants is the chance to pitch to those Twitter users before they unfollow the account because they don’t like Joe Biden. Plus, the idea that Twitter made a decision that “unnecessarily politicizes” the situation in favor of Trump is prima facie absurd.

And another thing they don’t like is the fact they’re being told this decision is “unequivocal”:

In late December of 2020, Mr. Flaherty has apparently just discovered unaccountable social media giants make inscrutable decisions about how they’re going to handle thorny political issues without input from key stakeholders and aren’t going to seriously listen to those stakeholders when it comes to reversing their decision.

In between when he tweeted this on Dec. 22 and Christmas Day, I hope someone told Flaherty that Santa Claus wasn’t real. He seems like the type that needed that illusion shattered, as well.

Whatever the case, it’s interesting how entitled they feel to these followers. Yes, the Obama administration may have handed off the reigns to those Twitter accounts four years ago — but Trump was the president and a Twitter star, even if most of the news he made on social media didn’t come from @POTUS.

That numerical increase — in just four years, with a president half the country believed was a tiny-fingered Russian-controlled vulgarian — was because the man was electric on social media. Now they want the followers his charisma brought to the account so that Joe Biden’s bromides get the same impressions.

Sure, no one will get any productive information from this:

However, like typical leftists, they want what they didn’t build.

It’s all right. Even without Twitter’s decision, none of those other followers would be paying much attention. Those who were interested in the office will stick around. Those who were interested in the guy who was tweeting would have left anyway.

Funny how these things work out.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture