Obama administration joins Facebook

The Obama administration now has feeds on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The social networking sites are just the latest in the administration's efforts to make information widely available, and they join YouTube, Flickr, iTunes and Vimeo as places to find official content

The Obama administration now has feeds on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. The social-networking sites are the latest in the administration's efforts to make information widely available, and they join YouTube, Flickr, iTunes and Vimeo as places to find official content.

"Technology has profoundly impacted how — and where — we all consume information and communicate with one another," wrote an administration official on WhiteHouse.gov. “WhiteHouse.gov is an important part of the administration’s effort to use the Internet to reach the public quickly and effectively — but it isn’t the only place.”

"There’s a lot to talk about right now," the announcement reads, and top issues are the economic crisis, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the H1N1 flu outbreak.

Not everyone is pleased with the move, according to a report in the New York Times. Privacy advocates are concerned that because agencies are not individuals, it might be inappropriate to treat them as "friends."

“There is a big difference between the power of a federal agency and the power of a person you are friends with online,” said Lillie Coney, associate director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, in the Times article. “If one of my friends didn’t appreciate something I said, they can delete it or blog about it. That’s fine. But when it comes to a federal government agency, how could they react?"

To find the latest White House presences, go to:

Facebook.com/WhiteHouse

MySpace.com/Whitehouse

Twitter.com/Whitehouse

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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Reader comments

Tue, May 12, 2009

Every military base I am aware of has FaceBook and most other "social networking" sites blocked for security reasons. Perhaps there is something to be read into that?

Tue, May 5, 2009

I find it fascinating that you can't get to the new White House feed on Facebook from inside the White House computer system. Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing, or are White House staffers not supposed to communicate with the public through the new Facebook feed?

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