Twitter apologises after forcing people to follow President Trump

President Donald Trump at Capitol Hill
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Twitter has scrambled to fix a glitch that automatically subscribed people to President Trump's tweets - even after deliberately unfollowing or blocking his account.

The company said the issue stemmed from an error during the handover of the official presidential Twitter account - @POTUS - from Obama to Trump. The account was supposed to retain its original 13 million followers, who would also be automatically added to an account containing an archive of the Obama administration's @POTUS tweets.

However, some users have reported that despite blocking or unfollowing the @POTUS account prior to the switchover, they found themselves mysteriously re-subscribed. There have even been claims that users have found themselves following the account despite never choosing to follow it in the first place.

Twitter blamed this on technical issues, and CEO Jack Dorsey took to the platform to explain and apologise. He revealed that in addition to the @POTUS account, the problem also affected other government accounts including the official vice president, press secretary and White House accounts.

The Trump-controlled presidential Twitter handle now has 14.3 million followers, and while the problem affected 560,000 people, Dorsey said that "we believe we've corrected all accounts to reflect your follow/unfollow intent".

Adam Shepherd

Adam Shepherd has been a technology journalist since 2015, covering everything from cloud storage and security, to smartphones and servers. Over the course of his career, he’s seen the spread of 5G, the growing ubiquity of wireless devices, and the start of the connected revolution. He’s also been to more trade shows and technology conferences than he cares to count.

Adam is an avid follower of the latest hardware innovations, and he is never happier than when tinkering with complex network configurations, or exploring a new Linux distro. He was also previously a co-host on the ITPro Podcast, where he was often found ranting about his love of strange gadgets, his disdain for Windows Mobile, and everything in between.

You can find Adam tweeting about enterprise technology (or more often bad jokes) @AdamShepherUK.