Twitter apologizes for making you follow the new US President

If you no longer want to subscribe to what @POTUS is tweeting - or alternatively you've only just decided to sign up to the President's updates - then you might want to double-check whether or not you're following the right Twitter account this weekend.

As the @POTUS handle belongs to the office of President, not an individual person, Twitter decided in advance to reset the tweet count during the transition between Obama and Trump, but to keep the followers intact.

This proved more complicated than anticipated. What's more, Twitter was also trying to automatically add everyone who was already following @POTUS as a follower of the archived @POTUS44 account as well. The problem was, a lot of users found they were following the new President when they didn't really want to.

"This was a mistake"

One of the problems was people who started following Obama's new account were also being signed up for @POTUS updates as well. On top of that some users who'd unsubscribed from @POTUS updates found themselves still seeing updates from President Trump, according to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.

"We believe this affected about 560,000 people," tweeted Dorsey. "This was a mistake, it wasn't right, we own it, and we apologize. No excuses."

It turns out that migrating millions of followers from one account to another is more complicated than anyone anticipated - though it's not a problem you're likely to have unless you're a global celebrity or a space station. We'd recommend double-checking whether or not you're following @POTUS and @POTUS44 today, just in case.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.