A few days ago, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson switched the name of his official Twitter account @MayorofLondon to @Boris Johnson, just at the start of the formal election period and his re-election campaign. This provoked heated accusations that he had hijacked the official account by transferring the 253,144 followers tracking the activities of the London mayor's office to his re-election campaign, reported the Guardian.
In fact, when someone changes his or her Twitter handle (the @name associated with the account), all the other profile information – followers and following – remains the same.
The electoral debate aside, the Guardian took the opportunity to reflect on the nature of social media identities and the “ownership” of journalists’ Twitter accounts.
The case have some journalistic precedents for example the episode when Laura Kuenssberg, formerly the BBC’s chief political correspondent, moved to become ITV business editor, and transferred her 60,000 followers to her new account.