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:
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.