US president Biden posts first tweet as @POTUS: ‘There is no time to waste’

Biden prepares to sign a series of executive orders at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office just hours after his inauguration on Jan 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden became the 46th president of the United States earlier today during the ceremony at the US Capitol. — AFP

LOS ANGELES: US president Biden, less than an hour after his swearing in, posted his first official tweet from the @POTUS account after Twitter transferred it from Trump’s control.

“There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face,” Biden said in the post, time-stamped at 12:36 p.m. ET Wednesday. “That’s why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families.”

Twitter switched control of @POTUS and other official White House handles to the Biden administration on Wednesday, just minutes after Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in on the steps of the US Capitol. Instead of retaining the followers of the @POTUS account under Trump, Twitter migrated users who were following @PresElectBiden to the new @POTUS. The company used the same process for the transition of other Biden administration accounts.

Harris’ first tweet under the newly switched @VP account (which inherited her followers from @SenKamalaHarris) was simply, “Ready to serve.”

From his personal Twitter account, @JoeBiden, the newly installed president urged his nearly 25 million followers to come over to @POTUS. “Now the real work begins, folks. Follow along at @POTUS as we build back better,” he tweeted.

The Biden administration’s takeover of the White House’s Twitter accounts comes as a relief to millions of Americans. The switch occurred less than two weeks after the social network permanently suspended Donald Trump’s personal account (@realDonaldTrump) following the Jan 6 storming of the Capitol by an insurrectionist mob that had been egged on by Trump on social media and in person. In the last few months of his presidency, Trump incessantly spouted lies about how the 2020 election was “stolen” from him.

After an internal debate – and after years of critics calling on Internet companies to “deplatform” Trump to stanch the flow of his misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric – Twitter ultimately kicked Trump off the platform for good on Jan 8 over concerns he would incite further violence. Facebook and other Internet services took similar actions. Twitter left @POTUS in place after disabling @realDonaldTrump, but thwarted Trump’s attempts to personally tweet from @POTUS.

The National Archives and Records Administration said it will archive “all official Trump Administration social media content, including deleted posts from @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS”, at Official tweets from Trump and his administration currently are available at @POTUS45 @WhiteHouse45, @VP45, @PressSec45, @FLOTUS45 and @SecondLady45. – Variety/Reuters

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