Twitter accidently gifts President Trump half a million unconsenting followers
The blunder caused uproar online as Twitter users reported being forced to follow President Trump even though they unfollowed the @POTUS twitter handle so they would not have to see Trump’s tweets.
Similar issues were reported in relation to the handles of the First Lady, the Vice President and the White House.
Dorsey explained on Twitter that as @POTUS is an institutional account and not a personal one it was deemed appropriate to transfer accounts with followers in tact but no tweets.
Twitter transferred the accounts as Trump took his oath of office, moving all tweets from Obama's term as president to a new account @POTUS44.
The plan was to move 13 million followers of the Obama-era @POTUS account who were following the account before 12pm to follow both @POTUS44 and the new @POTUS account for Trump.
However, the process did not run smoothly, as some users who followed @POTUS44 after 12pm were mistakenly made to also follow @POTUS.
While others who unfollowed @POTUS in the past were mistakenly marked to now follow @POTUS, Dorsey said on Twitter.
Dorsey claimed about 560,000 users were affected by the glitch and confirmed other official administration accounts were also impacted.
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.— jack (@jack) January 21, 2017
However some users insisted they never followed @POTUS and were still being automatically made to follow President Trump.
I wrote about Twitter's force-following of Trump and others in a public Facebook post. Then this happened. pic.twitter.com/aPKVmJwDXM— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) January 21, 2017
@sarahkendzior I absolutely wasn't following @ Potus earlier in the day. I checked. So where was I migrated from?!— Isa-Lee Wolf (@IsaLeeWolf) January 21, 2017
@sarahkendzior I never followed the POTUS account in the first place, so the migration argument makes no sense. This is creepy AF.— Margaret Mincks (@margaretmincks) January 21, 2017
Trump who has retained his existing twitter handle and 21 million plus following has to date 14.2 million followers under the new @POTUS handle.
The twitter loving leader has so far only posted six tweets to the new account.