Today after the inauguration, Donald Trump was given the Twitter handle, @POTUS, as he is now officially the President of the United States. The former account with the handle, run by Obama’s administration, adopted the handle @POTUS44, keeping all the tweets separate. This account began with 0 followers and 0 tweets, being a completely new Twitter account.
I, like many others, unfollowed both the @POTUS and @FLOTUS Twitter accounts this morning before the inauguration, preparing for the doom of a Trump presidency. When everything switched after the inauguration, I also took the liberty to block the @POTUS account just to make sure I would never see any of his bigoted nonsense on my timeline. However, checking a few hours later, I found I was following both the @POTUS and @FLOTUS Twitter accounts. As soon as I unfollowed the account, it went back to showing I had him blocked.
— sam (@samboycee) January 21, 2017
I was not the only one with this problem. Many others tweeted out reporting that their accounts had auto followed @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and even @VP.
donald trump is making people autofollow his and Melania’s twitter accounts and this feels like some sick dystopian novel coming true
— sai sailaja seshadri (@Saisailu97) January 21, 2017
Twitter’s support page later tweeted out that they had received complaints of “migrating followers” and were investigating the situation. Twitter and many others are wrongfully diagnosing this issue as the followers for the former @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP accounts transferring over to the new ones. This is not correct. Many people who unfollowed the former accounts, and even blocked the new ones, still ended up following @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP.
We are aware of the issue with migrating @POTUS followers and investigating. More soon.
— Twitter Support (@Support) January 21, 2017
This is not right. We have the right to be able to follow, unfollow, and block whichever accounts we choose and while it may seem that this is a silly thing to be upset about, it shows a lack of control over our internet, and ultimately our choices. This could be a sad precedent for the next four years of a Trump presidency. Blocking @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP can show our discontent with being forced to follow them, while also saving your timeline from their tweets.