Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, had to surrender more than just her title when she stepped down in 2018. Haley had to give up her twitter account, which held over 1.6 million followers.
She had this account for over a decade, including her time as governor of South Carolina. Government rules forced her to separate from her followers and start fresh. The social media-centered State Department rule, enacted by the Obama administration, was put in place to ensure that political appointees would not be able to continue their influence once they leave the administration.
This rule was intended to prevent political appointees from taking their followers – which they accumulated in their high-profile positions – back into civilian life. However, Haley was still able to do this for the most part, even without keeping her previous social media page. In just a day, she accumulated over 157,000 followers on her new handle.
Several social media influencers and verified figures retweeted Haley’s post, expressing sympathy that she had lost her wide following. Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, posted about Haley’s new account, which scored the attention of his 67,000 followers.
“Yesterday, Ambassador Nikki Haley had 1,700,000 followers, earned over a decade; today, she has suddenly had 0. Under State Department rules changed by the outgoing Obama administration in its final months, she had to delete everything. It’s a new day: time to re-follow @NikkiHaley,” tweeted Neuer. The post received over 2,800 retweets and over 4,400 likes.
By mid-February, Haley gathered more than 372,000 new and old followers and its growing every day.
Although her follower account isn’t currently as high as her last account, there is still hope. Past political appointee, Beto O’Rourke still made his way to the top with 1.2 million followers post government position. Haley isn’t giving up on her following; she even followed her previous account. Her old account will remain online and will be digitally archived by the State Department.
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