I have noticed that ever since Joe Biden took office, he has tweeted from @POTUS. However Donald Trump, for example, tweeted primarily from his personal account, which is suspended. When @JoeBiden tweets, it is solely retweets, mostly of @POTUS content. Kamala Harris seems to have made a similar move as well.

Is there any official or plausible reasoning for Joe Biden not tweeting directly from his personal account?

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    Shouldn't the question be "Why didn't Trump use @POTUS as the primary account?"?
    – Ken Y-N
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 0:30
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    Comments deleted. Please don't use comments to debate the question matter. If you would like to answer, please post a real answer. If you would like to discuss, please use the chat function. Please try to limit these comments to suggesting improvements to the question.
    – JJJ
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 7:51
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    Are you just asking why he doesn't have / make more time to tweet more personal (or Democratic party) stuff on his personal account, now that he's busy with a new job? Or are you asking why he uses the official account for official things? What are some examples of things you think he might plausibly do that he's not currently doing much / at all? Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 10:08
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    There's no way we can answer this, ask @POTUS Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 21:06
  • sounds like one of those moderator speaking officially things in reddit
    – BCLC
    Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 7:30

4 Answers 4


@POTUS, according to Twitter (https://www.wsj.com/articles/twitter-says-it-is-permanently-suspending-account-of-president-trump-11610148903), is the 'official' account for the Office of the President of the United States. It is a de facto arm of the executive branch in the same way that any other public-communications aspect of the office would be. (Theoretically) When it is used, it carries the weight and authority of the Office - it is, essentially, official communication.

@JoeBiden is the account of Joseph R. Biden, a private citizen. Communication therefrom does not carry the official nature in the same way, and so to use it is ethically incorrect, if not actually illegal in any way.

The word 'republic' derives from Latin (res publica) to mean "The People's stuff." Meaning the President is acting as a trustee, responsible to the People and charged with taking care of their stuff. If the person of President and the Office of President were the same, it would be the President's stuff, not the People's stuff. It's super abstract to be sure, but it's a quintessential feature of what it means to have a republic. This was a choice made by the framers in reaction to a system where everything was understood to be owned by the monarch, divvied up among people delegated to work that land since the King couldn't do the job himself.

No firewall between trustee and beneficiary/grantor is needed under a monarchy, because they're all the same person. In a republic, however, the public are the grantor and beneficiary, and the official is the trustee - but they are also a beneficiary and grantor in part. This introduces an unavoidable conflict of interest - one that is worked around by keeping a procedural firewall between the acts of the trustee as President, and their acts as a private citizen.

Donald Trump's style as President featured a broad disregard for norms of conduct, for which he was both broadly criticized and hailed. It was entirely within his style to use his personal brand and communication channels, because he viewed himself as 'The President' instead of simply the person who was occupying the Office of the President. This is also why he got into fights with members of the White House Counsel, often claiming that they should be acting differently: He wanted them to behave as if he were their client, when in normative actuality it's the Office of the President that is their client. (There's also a string of West Wing episodes about this nuance.)

A big part of Biden's platform and entire political character revolves around re-upping political norms and restoring the traditional relationships of political institutions. To that end, using his own, private Twitter handle to broadcast official messages would be in contravention of his demonstrated beliefs and values. In fact, using it much at all while he occupies the Office could create the appearance thereof, thus why he's mostly only using it for retweets.

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    Not sure if/where it would fit, but before Trump, Obama also distinguished: AT-WhiteHouse for president and AT-BarackObama for personal. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_media_use_by_Barack_Obama Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 23:47
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    @OwenReynolds Yes, I remember that there was at least some expectation that Trump would use \@POTUS when he took office, but I see now that the account is not as old as I thought it was. In addition it looks like they renamed old ones to \@POTUS## (e.g., \@POTUS44 for Obama's.) Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 0:31
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    @Captain Man There was a transition plan from Obama to Turmp for the Potus twitter account theverge.com/2016/10/31/13481720/…
    – Gary Myers
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 3:32
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    "and so to use it is ethically incorrect" It is really unclear what this refers to. Or perhaps you are just making a really weird moral statement. It sounds like you are saying that tweeting from a private account is ethically incorrect. (Of course most twitter accounts are personal so most people are making this "transgression".) I assume you meant that making official statements from a personal account or pretending they are official is what you are condemning.
    – Kvothe
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 10:21
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    @Kvothe Yes, it's specifically the "using personal channels for official communications" misuse. People make this ethical error all the time, it's hardly worthy of a stoning in the public square or anything, but as a matter of ethics if you have proper channels, you should use them where warranted. Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:28

By only tweeting official things from @POTUS, Biden isn't making @JoeBiden a public forum.

A circuit court ruled that Donald Trump's use of his personal Twitter account for public statements meant that blocking people on it contravened their First Amendment rights.

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    So he is doing it to keep things separate? Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 15:48
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    Maybe I am too old to accept addressing presidential/national matters on the internet, either using Twitter, Facebook, or any other platforms. Keep the contents private even they are meant to be viewed by everybody. And as a private matter, the issuer has the absolute right to blockout the persons he does like.
    – r13
    Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 16:55
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    That's an effect of him doing it, but do you think this is the main reason? Commented Apr 20, 2021 at 23:58
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    @r13 I would gladly vote for a candidate who swore never to use Twitter or similar. If it doesn't merit a press conference, it's beneath the dignity of the office.
    – hobbs
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 3:03
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    Additionally, at the end of President Biden's term of office, he will no longer have the POTUS account, but he will still be @joebiden. Complete separation of work and personal life is a good idea.
    – Criggie
    Commented Apr 21, 2021 at 12:16

It is incorrect to say it is unethical to use a private @joebiden account. Indeed the opposite is true. @POTUS is an official US government account and can only be used for official government business. It cannot be used for partisan political reasons for example. So it cannot be used to endorse Democratic party candidates for example. It would also be incorrect to tweet about what he had for breakfast or his favorite baseball team. Consider it an account to be used only for official issues.

@JoeBiden is a personal account and not subject to any US government rules or restrictions. Therefore it can be used for any reason whether it is endorsing candidates, his favorite movies or anything else such as your own personal account. Someone can talk about work items on a personal account but they should not discuss personal issues on a work account.

The issue of whether a President can block people on his personal account is unresolved. The Appeal Court ruled that Trump's personal account could not block critics because it was a public forum. However the Supreme Court dismissed the case on appeal as moot as Twitter blocked him from accessing the account and he was no longer President. There is no current precedent whether the @JoeBiden account would face court rulings declaring it a public forum the way @realdonaldtrump was.

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    Circuit courts set precedent within their circuit
    – Caleth
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 7:55
  • Is the Supreme Court obliged to dismiss cases as moot? They certainly knew that the Circuit Court precedent would remain in the absence of Supreme Court precedent, so was it a conscious decision to let it stand or a procedural necessity?
    – MSalters
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 13:42
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    Do you have any reason to believe that the @POTUS account can't be used for partisan purposes? The president certainly can endorse people from their party in other ways that use government resources (such as travelling to a rally), for example.
    – Bobson
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 15:24
  • The Circuit Court precedent has been vacated as moot., There is no precedent of any sort msn.com/en-us/tv/news/…
    – Mordechai
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 10:58
  • Yes the Supreme Court is obliged to dismiss a case as moot. US courts only deal with active disputes not theoretical ones. The Circuit Court Case as mentioned before was dismissed due to the case being moot.
    – Mordechai
    Commented May 20, 2021 at 11:02

Donald Trump and his supporters argue that public officials that use their private accounts instead of their official government accounts should be sent to prison. They even have a slogan for it: "Lock her up!"

President Biden ran on a platform of unity and reconciliation, so doing the exact thing that Donald Trump and his supporters claim is illegal, would undermine those efforts. It doesn't make sense to risk dividing the country over something as silly as which Twitter account to use, so the easiest solution is to just do what Donald Trump and his supporters want: that the President of the United States of America uses the Twitter account of the President of the United States of America.

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    Do Trump and his supporters actually want this? Trump used the Twitter account@RealDonaldTrump instead of @POTUS throughout his presidency and millions of people followed that account. If Trump really thought that the president of the United States shouldn't use a private twitter account, why didn't he lead by example? (the way Barack Obama did, by the way, when he created the @POTUS account)
    – Philipp
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 8:08
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    I, too, am surprised by this. Throughout his entire legislation period, Trump has not only been using his private Twitter account, but even used it for political statements, and then he's claiming the very thing he did is illegal? Talk about Trump levels of inconsistency. (And of course, if anyone claims he's been doing what he now demonizes, those people are automatically "fake news" regardless how many links they post, right?)
    – Egor Hans
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 8:45
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    Wasn't "lock her up" about running a private e-mail server for official government communication and then destroying the server (with extreme thoroughness) to prevent those e-mails from coming to light? Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 14:10
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    This answer is extremely misleading. @MichaelRichardson 's comment adds proper context.
    – Ertai87
    Commented Apr 22, 2021 at 14:48
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    Is this answer satire? Commented Apr 23, 2021 at 2:09

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