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  • Kavya Seth

Twitter Accidentally Makes Users Follow the @POTUS and @FLOTUS Twitter Accounts

With the recent transfer of presidential power, many other changes must be made as well. Updating the White House website, updating Google searches, and even changing Twitter handles. However, while the former two went over smoothly—googling "President of the United States" now results in displaying "Donald Trump" instead of "Barack Obama"—the latter did not fare so well.

Around 560,000 users were forced to follow the @POTUS and @FLOTUS Twitters.

This not only targeted people who previously followed President Obama's @POTUS Twitter and Michelle Obama's @FLOTUS Twitter, but also people who never followed any of the Twitters in the first place and even previous followers who deliberately unfollowed @POTUS and @FLOTUS so they wouldn't be following a Twitter affiliated with Donald or Melania Trump. Similar issues affected the @VP and @WhiteHouse accounts, though not nearly to the extent or infamy of @POTUS.

This was explained as a coding error resulting from a faulty script designed to transfer the followers of the previous president's @POTUS to the archival @POTUS44 account. Michelle Obama's @FLOTUS Twitter was similarly archived to @FLOTUS44. Twitter apologized for the glitch, saying "it wasn't right, we own it, and we apologize". While this has defused the tempers of many angry tweeters, conspiracy theories are running rampant, likely fueled by the previous allegations of Russian hacking in the results of the presidential election. The situation has been fixed now, though, so all's well that ends well... hopefully.


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