Did This Happen To You? Followers Automatically Added To @POTUS By Twitter After Donald Trump Takes Over

  • by: Alan Duke

The official presidential Twitter account @POTUS, which Barack Obama created and built, suddenly grew by nearly a million followers in the hours after Donald Trump took over the White House. But there are indications it was an automatic boost engineered by Twitter, and not a rush to read presidential tweets.

A CNN story posted Saturday titled "Twitter investigating complaints about @POTUS account transfer" reports the social platform company is "looking into complaints from angry users who say they were unwittingly added as followers of the @POTUS account after President Donald Trump's team took it over on Friday."

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responded to one tweeted complaint saying the company was "investigating."

Comedian Margaret Cho, who is not a Trump fan, wasn't pleased (two understatements) to find she was now a Trump follower on Twitter.

The @POTUS account had 13.7 million followers in the last hour of Obama's presidency, but rose to 14.4 million by Friday evening. It had lost 200,000 by Saturday morning, settling at 14.2 million.

A series of unofficial Twitter polls conducted by the account @UnFollowPOTUS in the days ahead of the transition suggested many Obama supporters would dump @POTUS when Trump got the password. It also indicated the account would gain a large number of Trump supporters who didn't follow when Obama was the Tweeter-in-Chief.

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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