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Here's Why Trump Was Missing From Some Twitter Search Results For "POTUS"

Twitter made the fix after a BuzzFeed News inquiry.

Originally posted on
Updated on

Donald Trump is the 45th — and current — president of the United States, or POTUS, as the popular acronym goes. On January 20, when Trump was sworn into office, Trump and his social media team in the White House also gained control of the official @POTUS Twitter account from the Obama administration. And while Trump does most of his meaningful tweeting from his personal account, @POTUS is still considered the official presidential Twitter channel.

But for the last few weeks, if you searched Twitter looking for "POTUS," you wouldn't find the 45th president at all in the autocompleted results. The same went for "@POTUS." Trump, it appeared, was scrubbed from @POTUS Twitter automatic search results altogether. The top result? Obama, followed by a number of novelty accounts including one that claims to be run by "rogue" White House staffers:

A number of Twitter users noticed the same thing. Some pointed to it as glaring proof of censorship and bias on behalf of Twitter.

Twitter is pathetic. Look what happens when you search for @POTUS. Trump is erased, Stalin style. #RealFake

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Twitter is starting to harass @realDonaldTrump When you search @POTUS potus44 comes up. It's time for everyone to @getongab @DonaldJTrumpJr

Well this is petty as hell, Twitter. Search for "@Potus" pulls up Barack and some random accounts. Not the actual P… https://t.co/m5UuRq545S

Do a search for @ potus. All I see is 44.

So, while trying to set up my backup account-tried to search for @POTUS & White House-THIS IS TOTAL BS-not even a h… https://t.co/yGZR8jep7L

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When BuzzFeed News contacted Twitter about this, the social network said only that the search result "was a bug and has since been resolved."

Twitter declined to explain the nature of the bug but it appears a fix has been made. Now, when you search "POTUS" or "@POTUS," Donald Trump appears in the search results.

CORRECTION

Trump was omitted from autocompleting search results. An earlier version of this post misstated he was omitted from all search results.


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Charlie Warzel is a Senior Technology Writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in Missoula, Montana

Contact Charlie Warzel at charlie.warzel@buzzfeed.com.

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