President Obama’s administration is the first to take advantage of modern social media channels, including Twitter and Facebook. However, there’s no precedent as to what happens to those social media channels when Obama leaves office and the next president, whether that be Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, is sworn in. With that in mind, the White House has laid out its own overview of how social media channels will be handed over to the next president.
According to the Verge, a report published by the White House details how and when each social media channel will be handed over to the new administration, including most notably, position-specific handles like @POTUS, @FLOTUS, and @VP. The report confirms that the big accounts will be handed over to the new president on Inauguration Day, January 20, whilst other accounts will be transferred shortly after. Depending who wins the presidential election in November, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will then be given full control of the @POTUS Twitter handle, which should come naturally considering both candidates are already active on Twitter.
There’s no denying that the @POTUS Twitter handle is the most high profile of the White House’s social media channels. It was previously speculated that the account would change its name, giving the new president the opportunity to setup a new account using the handle. However, the White House has now confirmed that the entire account will be transferred to the new president, with its 11 million followers. However, all tweets currently on the account from President Obama will be wiped to make room for the 45th president.
That being said, Twitter users will still be able to access tweets from the Obama administration at any time from a new account, @POTUS44. The account is currently live but locked in protected mode. After Inauguration Day, it will be populated with tweets from @POTUS during the Obama administration. Obama himself is also likely to remain active through his personal account used for campaigning, @BarackObama.
RELATED STORIES ON INQUISITR:
According to the Telegraph, the Obama administration will also hand over its Facebook and Instagram accounts, each of which will also be wiped clean, whilst Obama White House pages will be set-up to preserve content. In time, that transition will also be expanded to accounts on other social media platforms like YouTube and Tumblr. However, the White House’s key focus will be handing over the president’s Twitter handle.
Obama’s administration has also confirmed that it plans to pass on all other digital assets to the next president, including tools like We The People. Whether or not the next president will continue to use those assets remains to be seen, however, it’s easier to see the Democratic candidate and Obama’s natural successor Hillary Clinton taking advantage of her predecessor’s digital portfolio. On the other hand, Republican candidate Donald Trump may be less inclined to use aspects of policy left behind by the previous administration.
Back in May 2015, former President Bill Clinton welcomed President Obama to Twitter. At the same time, he asked if the username stays with the office, coupled with the hashtag #askingforafriend. President Obama wittily replied by confirming that it does and asking Bill Clinton if he knows anybody interested in the @FLOTUS handle. If Bill Clinton does become the next president’s spouse, it remains to be seen whether or not the handle will be changed to reflect the United States’ first male presidential spouse.
[Featured Image by Handout/Getty Images]