Social Gov

Feds' social media updates among shutdown casualties

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Don't expect many tweets, Facebook posts or Pinterest pins from federal agencies for at least the next few days.

The government shutdown has turned the government's social media platforms into the digital equivalent of chirping crickets, in large part because many of the feds who run the accounts followed by hundreds to millions of people were deemed nonessential in their agency's shutdown plans.

The General Services Administration's new media office, which boasts one of the most active social media staff in government and is a beacon for social media policy gurus worldwide, tweeted: "We're sorry, but we will not tweet or respond to @ replies during the government shutdown. We'll be back as soon as possible."

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GSA, its parent agency, won't be posting updates either, nor will the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. NASA won't be tweeting news or updates to its 5 million followers, and the United States Geological Survey's twitter account, which sends out real-time earthquake data and alerts to more than 300,000 people, is also in the dark.

The Education Department's main social media accounts will not be updated, though NextGov reports that some popular social media accounts will be updated because they are operated by employees deemed essential. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, for example, will still have a Twitter presence online.

The government's social media blackout mirrors what's going on with many federal websites, many of which will be shut down or have limited function, according to the Washington Post. A number of federal websites, including NASA's, have already gone dark.

The Office of Personnel Management recommended in a memo that agencies planning to shut their website down should place a notice on the site attributing the closure to the shutdown.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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