More than half a million Twitter users were alarmed when they woke up on Friday to discover that their accounts had been quietly made to automatically follow Donald Trump.
Soon after Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, Twitter users began noticing his tweets on their feed despite never having opted to follow Donald Trump. Users accused the social media platform of ‘forcing’ them to follow Donald Trump on Friday.
The new President was handed control of the @POTUS account when he took the oath of office at Friday’s inauguration.
Some users parted ways with @POTUS on the social network once it changed hands from former president Barack Obama to Trump. However, for reasons unexplained, they automatically re-followed the presidential account without their permission.
Users who noticed the glitch were quick to bring it to the attention of Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey. Consequently, Dorsey issued an apology, explaining that the error was caused by a technical glitch. Dorsey said they believe the error affected about 560,000 people.
He explained in a series of tweets that users who followed President Obama’s new handle @POTUS44 after noon on Friday were automatically set to follow the Trump-ran @POTUS handle.
In addition, “some people who unfollowed @POTUS in the past were mistakenly marked to now follow @POTUS.” This also affected other official Administration accounts like @VP, @WhiteHouse, and @PressSec,” Dorsey tweeted.
In his words; “This was a mistake, it wasn’t right, we own it, and we apologise. No excuses.” He further assured that the issue had been corrected.
Twitter’s role in the election and the continuing promotion of Donald Trump has been much discussed. Some have even suggested that Twitter should have banned Trump’s personal account in keeping with his guidelines, and even many Trump supporters have suggested that he should stop using it so much.