Twitter Moves Obama to @POTUS44, Trump to @POTUS

Misinformation about following and unfollowing White House-related Twitter accounts circulated around Inauguration Day.

As Inauguration Day 2017 approached, social media users began tweeting about former President Barack Obama’s popular @POTUS Twitter account and how it would be maintained after the end of his term of office:

A number of Twitter users encouraged others to “unfollow” @POTUS, asserting that the account would be transferred to the control of incoming President Donald Trump. At some point on 20 January 2017, the @POTUS account was indeed assigned to the new president:

potus twitter

However, President Obama’s previous Twitter account was completely ported to @POTUS44. Anyone unfollowing the @POTUS44 account would being unfollowing former President Obama and not new President Trump:

The @FLOTUS Twitter account was also transferred from former First Lady Michelle Obama to new First Lady Melania Trump:


Again, Mrs. Obama’s followers did not appear to be automatically subscribed to Mrs. Trump’s follower list. Michelle Obama’s @FLOTUS account was changed to @FLOTUS44:


Former Vice-President Joe Biden’s @VP Twitter account was similarly renamed to @VP44, and Vice-President Mike Pence was assigned the @VP account. All three of the newly assigned accounts (@POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP) had not tweeted as of midday on 20 January 2017.

Dear Reader, has long been engaged in the battle against misinformation, an effort we could not sustain without support from our audience. Producing reliable fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting requires significant resources. We pay writers, editors, web developers, and other staff who work tirelessly to provide you with an invaluable service: evidence-based, contextualized analysis of facts. Help us keep strong. Make a direct contribution today. Learn More.

Donate with PayPal