Twitter Apologizes for Making People Follow Donald Trump Against Their Will

Photo: Getty
Photo: Getty

People are a bit on edge at the moment when it comes to being forced to do things by now-President Donald Trump. When some users noticed that they were suddenly following the official Twitter account of the POTUS against their will yesterday, they freaked out. Now, Twitter has apologized.


Today, Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey addressed the issues that occurred after when the social media platform was migrating the followers from the old @POTUS to the new one.

You can see the whole thread here. But you can read the statement in paragraph form below:

The Obama Administration worked with all their platforms to craft a transition plan. Because @POTUS is an institutional account (not personal) they felt it only fair to transition accounts with followers intact, but 0 tweets. We kicked off that plan at 12p Eastern yesterday.

If you were following @POTUS before 12pET, by end of day you’d be following *two* accounts: @POTUS44 (44th Admin) and @POTUS (45th Admin). Two issues were reported during the day which we spent the night confirming and have now corrected:

1. People who followed @POTUS44 (Obama Admin) after 12pET were mistakenly set to also follow @POTUS (Trump Admin).

2. Some people who unfollowed @POTUS in the past were mistakenly marked to now follow @POTUS

We believe this affected about 560,000 people. This was a mistake, it wasn’t right, we own it, and we apologize. No excuses.

This also affected other official Administration accounts like @VP, @WhiteHouse, and @PressSec. 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.

Dorsey’s explanation makes a certain amount of sense and it’s easy to imagine a screw-up when migrating so many followers at a specific time when all the world’s eyes are watching. Still, 560,000 people is a big number.

This also doesn’t explain all of the people who were claiming that they’ve never followed @POTUS in any way and found their stream looking distinctly more threatening. It’s possible that they simply don’t remember following the account.


For now, it seems that users should simply check both accounts to see if they are following them and correct any unwanted mistakes.




Mo Kar

“This was a mistake, it wasn’t right, we own it, and we apologize. No excuses.”

I mean, that’s about the best you ask for. It was almost certainly an inadvertent screwup and it sounds like they’ve fixed it. Maybe forgive and forget now?