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Biden is about to become @POTUS: How the social media transition of power will unfold

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CNN Business, January 2021

At the moment Joe Biden is sworn in as the next president of the United States, another transition of power will take place on social media.

On Wednesday, Biden and his team will gain access to a long list of official government accounts across the major social media platforms, including the @POTUS account on Twitter. With the tap of a button, the Biden administration will inherit a digital megaphone with the potential to make news and shape the public image of the US government. The transfer of these official accounts, which include not just those representing Biden and the White House but nearly every arm of government, has emerged as an important aspect of the broader transition of power, especially after Twitter became the favored online platform of President Donald Trump.

“It certainly has a big symbolic value,” said David Lazer, a political science and computer sciences professor at Northeastern University. “The centrality of Twitter to Trump’s brand and identity has made the moment a lot more significant. “The president used his personal Twitter account, @realdonaldtrump, to make major policy announcements, fire staffers, attack critics and spread misinformation. His account was permanently suspended earlier this month following the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.

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