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Twitter’s Trump Kerfuffle

While it is arguably almost impossible for Americans to avoid the tweets of Donald Trump at this point, unless they are willing to unplug entirely and cut themselves off from most mainstream media, things took a turn for the weird last week when a Twitter glitch actually began forcing people to follow Donald Trump — whether they wanted to or not.

Jack Dorsey has officially apologized for the technical problems that accidentally forced some users to follow the @POTUS account just in time for it to be handed over to Donald Trump. Some Twitter users described the experience as “bewildering,” while others immediately jumped to conspiracy mode and accused Twitter of doing the administration’s bidding.

Dorsey used his favorite means of expression, the tweetstorm, on Saturday in an attempt to try and explain how a glitch forced a half-million Twitter users onto the POTUS thread. Essentially, the official social media transition plan entailed the “institutional” account followers of @POTUS on Twitter would be handed over with users intact. Twitter meant to have all followers of Barack Obama’s @POTUS account “migrated” to follow @POTUS45, the 45th administration and the Trump administration @POTUS.

But Twitter didn’t quite stick the landing, so some users who had moved on to @POTUS45 were also auto-subscribed to @POTUS even if they had rather explicitly already turned down the option. The glitch has reportedly since been repaired.

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