Barack Obama has left the White House and Donald Trump is now the 45th President of the United States. It should go without saying that the sheer amount of reorganization and changes being made to transition from one head of state and administration to another is nothing to laugh at. In this age of electronic information that includes websites and social media accounts, if one’s not careful, an epic gaffe could occur, such as the one that took place on Inauguration Day, when Twitter users found themselves inexplicably added as followers to the official US President’s account of @POTUS, the moment it was reassigned from Obama to Trump.

Unwitting followers

The White House has accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram for starters. In the case of Twitter, their @POTUS special account was given to Trump, set at zero tweets, but carrying over all @POTUS followers from its days under Obama; that figure sat at about 13 million before the inauguration. The former president Obama received a new special account entitled @POTUS44, serving as an archive of all tweets sent out by Obama or in his name from his days in office.

Certain Twitter users during the Inauguration transition suddenly found themselves listed as @POTUS followers. The “victims” were a wide sort, those who un-followed the account before the handover, those who never followed it, and even those who knew of @POTUS but took measures to block it or mark it as spam with regard to their accounts.

No matter their situation, if they had a Twitter account, there was a chance that they got added to the Trump-period POTUS account when all was said and done.

Damage control

Twitter support staff and founder Jack Dorsey himself realized the over-migration of followers to the @POTUS account and assured users that they’re checking the problem and fixing it as quickly as possible.

The original outcome was that Obama @POTUS followers were set to follow both @POTUS44 and Trump’s @POTUS. Dorsey estimated the affected accounts to be some 560,000 members, but has assured the whole user base that the issues are now fixed.

After the @POTUS account became Trump’s, its followers increased to 14.2 million, and the new President’s personal Twitter account @realdonaldtrump now has over 21 million followers.