A video circulating on social media claims that the official White House Twitter account follows only 19 users, with 15 of them being American government officials and politicians. The remaining four, according to the claim, are official accounts of Indian Prime Minister Modi, the Indian President, an Indian Embassy official, etc. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Apart from American officials and politicians, the official White House Twitter account follows only Indian Prime Minister Modi, the Indian President, and an Indian Embassy official.
Fact: Currently, the official White House Twitter account does not follow any Indian official. Nevertheless, it did briefly follow PM Modi and other Indian officials during Trump’s 2020 visit to India to facilitate the retweeting of their messages in support of the trip. The account’s following list changes in response to events and diplomatic engagements. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.
Upon examining the official White House Twitter account, we discovered that at the time of writing this article, it follows a mere 6 accounts. These include the President of the United States, the First Lady, the Vice President, the Second Gentleman, the White House COVID-19 Response Team, and the White House’s Spanish-language Twitter account. Contrary to the claim, the White House Twitter account is not following the Indian Prime Minister or any other Indian officials.
Nevertheless, Indian media reports from April 2020, when President Trump was in office, reveal that the former official White House Twitter account (@WhiteHouse45) followed the Indian President, Indian Prime Minister, and Indian Embassy handles during that period. However, by the end of April 2020, the White House account had unfollowed these Indian accounts.
Amid speculation about why the White House made such a decision, the administration explained that its Twitter handle typically follows accounts of officials from host countries on a temporary basis during presidential visits. This practice is intended to facilitate the retweeting of their messages in support of the trip. For instance, when President Donald Trump visited India in the last week of February 2020, the official White House Twitter account started following the accounts of President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and other Indian officials. Although Twitter does not permit general users to view past following connections, we observed a change in the number of accounts followed by the White House, as well as retweets and mentions in posts during Presidential visits. This suggests that the White House handle’s following list changes according to events and diplomatic engagements.
To sum it up, the White House’s official Twitter account briefly followed PM Modi and other Indian officials during Trump’s visit to India in 2020 to streamline the retweeting of their messages in support of the trip. The account’s following list adapts according to events and diplomatic engagements.