Donald Trump may’ve been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, but that doesn’t mean you suddenly have to start paying heed to his tweets.
Or does it?
More than half a million Twitter users might’ve worried about that, when they noticed that after Trump’s inauguration, they were suddenly following him on the microblogging service, by way of the president of the United States’ account, @POTUS.
We’re not talking people who’d followed Barack Obama via @POTUS and simply forgotten about the account changing hands. These were folks who’d unfollowed the @POTUS account, as well as people who’d followed the new @POTUS44 account — an archive of Obama administration tweets — but hadn’t signed on to @POTUS.
Was it Trump’s ego at work? Was it some sort of twisted free speech conspiracy? Was it the Russians?
Apparently none of the above. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey took to the site Saturday to explain that the mixup was a technical glitch.
The planned switchover, Dorsey said, would’ve worked out so that followers of @POTUS would automatically also become followers of @POTUS44 after the inauguration. That way, for those users there’d be no break in the thread of presidential tweets.
Instead, “people who followed @POTUS44 (Obama Admin) after 12pET were mistakenly set to also follow @POTUS (Trump Admin),” Dorsey tweeted. And “Some people who unfollowed @POTUS in the past were mistakenly marked to now follow @POTUS.”
Dorsey said the screwup also affected other official administration accounts, such as @VP, @WhiteHouse and @PressSec, and that about 560,000 Twitter users got hit.
“We believe we’ve corrected all accounts to reflect your follow/unfollow intent,” Dorsey tweeted. “We’re sorry for the mistakes made here, and thank you all.”
Knowing Trump, you can check your Twitter feed at, oh, two in the morning or something to look for any tweets and make certain the change has gone through.
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