White House Bans Twitter?

from the communication? dept

Well this is odd. Twitter was one of the many tools that President Obama used to help build up a strong base of supporters, and the White House has its own Twitter feed that is quite popular. Yet, reader Ben points out that White House spokesman Robert Gibbs has now admitted that Twitter is blocked from White House computers. Wonder who's updating the official feed, then... Apparently this isn't actually a new thing. A couple months ago, it came up in another press conference, and it came out that only a small number of "new media" folks are allowed to have access to Twitter from the White House. Someone ought to let the White House IT staff know that it's easy to update Twitter via SMS from your phone... Either way, makes you wonder if only the media communications people in the White House are allowed to use telephones, too.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 2:23pm

    Woo-hoo! Another hot headline for the search bots.

    WTG Mike!

     

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  2.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Jul 24th, 2009 @ 2:28pm

    Re:

    Haha, I don't normally agree with the ACs that tend to post early in the thread, but yeah he's kinda right on this one.

    I read the headline and immediately thought, "They did WHAT??? God Dammit I didn't really like this Obama puppet before, but NOW I'm pissed!"

    Then I read the article and realized that all they did is exactly what MY office does. So now I've got all of this rage creating an absess in my left cornea.

    Lawsuit pending.

     

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  3.  
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    some old guy, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re:

    That was a rather dumb assumption you made there. In what way could the white house possibly have done anything else?

    You must seriously have no clue how the government works at all if you assumed anything from the headlines besides their own internal policies.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    The Happy Lobbyist, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    We win again!

    Once again, us lobbyists will take back the White House. We will win by controlling the message and preventing constituent feedback. How dare they try to challenge us and interact with constituents!

    Keep up the good work, boys. The more Congressional inbreeding, the better. Plus, before you know it, our lobby will finally get those bills based on Mein Kampf ideology passed! Seig Heil!

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    Majo, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 3:07pm

    Social Network Strategist

    Duno man but have you worked at any IT companies, and they allowed you to access Social Networks such as MySPace? Now imagine WH having access to all kind of social networks...you really think employees wouldn't tweet "Checkout our new rug" or "Look Obama just passed by with holding Cigar in his hand"

    Come on seriously! its WH not Best Buy!

     

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  6.  
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    Drew, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:04pm

    Agreed with commenters

    This is a non-issue. There are mid-level nothing companies that ban twitter because of the potential for information leaks. Now we're taking about the freaking government. I'm *certain* there are exceptions for the New Media folks, but I see no problem with keeping the rank and file random WH employee from tweeting about their work...

     

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  7.  
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    Palmyra, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:10pm

    Every work in a HIGH security job

    While I never work at the WH my security clearance was as high as one can get outside the inner circle. The only thing that I was ever questioned on was need to know.

    OK, now with that said only a fool would allow an open communication channel such as Twitter in the WH. Most/almost all people really don't have a clue what is going on day after day in this world. All it would take to get dozens killed is some boob to Twitter just a bit of info.

    And guys if you don't like what I said well you know what they say about where the sun don't shine

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Every work in a HIGH security job

    "Most/almost all people really don't have a clue what is going on day after day in this world."

    It's true, most are brainwashed to the fact that corporations control everything. Though I am not stating an opinion about this specific incident though, perhaps there is legitimate cause and perhaps not.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 5:36pm

    Re: Re: Every work in a HIGH security job

    Just like everyone else I feel compelled to say nothing by saying something?!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 6:13pm

    Re: Agreed with commenters

    This is another Mike fail story, perhaps fodder for the search engines but outrage and something that isn't outrageous. I would sure as heck hope that the people who require a security clearance for their work aren't tweeting about "PotUS just took a poo, smells like fried chicken again".

    Sometimes this blog smells like fried chicken.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Every work in a HIGH security job

    If you said something how did you say nothing?

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:26pm

    Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    It's just news, get over it. What's wrong with posting something he is interested in? You act like he did something wrong by blogging about something. If you don't like what he blogs about go find another blog. Stop complaining about this blog and continuing to visit it. You're the one outraged about something not outrageous. He blogged about something, nothing outrageous about that, and now you're outraged.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    It's just a comments, get over it. What wrong with commenting on something I am interested in? You act as if I did somethign wrong by commenting about something. If you don't like what I comment about go find another comment. Stop complaining about my comments and continuing to read them. You're the one outraged about something not outrageous. I commented about something, nothing outrageous about that, and now you're outraged.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "What wrong with commenting on something I am interested in?"

    So you're interested in the OP yet you're complaining about him blogging about it? Interesting (hypocritical). If you comment on a blog because you are interested why are your comments negative about the blogger?

    "You're the one outraged about something not outrageous."

    I'm not outraged, I'm just pointing out your stupidity. In as much as you claim Mike is outraged you can be said to be equally outraged about something not outrageous, someone posting about something.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "It's just a comments, get over it."

    I'm not mad so I have nothing to get over. It was you who was outraged about something not outrageous and I was merely pointing our your hypocrisy.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    S, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:48pm

    One reason it's not allowed is...

    ...the current policy on records management and retention by NARA (National Archives and Records Administration)...and the fact that it's the White House we're talking about.

    NARA basically says that ANYTHING that is done in "machine readable" content during the conducting of official business is considered a Federal record. Federal records are required to be archived based upon a disposition schedule that each Agency is required to establish. The White House has a higher standard to uphold simply because it's The White House.

    This means that every single tweet must be saved/archived to some location on their network. If you know Twitter, you're only limited to about 7 days of history. So it's a matter of using a service that can archive tweets continuously, without interruption, beyond the 7 days. Of course, then it's harder to use a 3rd-party service due to TOS agreements, privacy policies, cookie policies, 3rd-party endorsements, information quality act, etc, etc, etc. So, you need to build it in house.

    Although "loose lips sink ships" might be part of the fear if every WH employee was tweeting...that can be handled from a management standpoint. But the records preservation also has to be addressed which is harder to do if every employee is tweeting. So limiting usage to a single office with a handful of people is easier to do when dealing with recording every tweet.

    I'm sure there's much more to it than just not allowing the site to be accessed from within WH. It's obviously possible. There are other factors that I'm sure come into play.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    but honestly, let me ask you this. Do you honestly think that your apparent unjustified anger against Mike for no apparent reason at all, at least in regard to this thread, makes your position against him look any more valid? If anything it paints a picture to people that those who are against him are extremists who would try to find any excuse to say something negative about him for no reason whatsoever. This ruins the credibility of those who oppose his position and it may even make people ignore valid criticisms because they may figure that they are coming from extremists who are trying to find any excuse to question his position. It's like those people who come up with this nonsense about Obama not being a valid citizen and hence he can't be the president or those people who come up with this nonsense about Obama being in Indonesia when he claims to have seen the Apollo missions. Even when McCain was asked whether or not Obama was eligible to be president by some extremist (I saw this on CNN) McCain said that he was. These extremists trash the Republicans as a whole, look how much damage these people are causing to the republicans, do you really want to trash the positions of those who question Mike? I have valid criticism against Obama but I don't want someone to be classified as one of those crazy extremist every time someone questions Obama. People may also have valid criticisms against Mikes position and likewise you shouldn't make everyone who questions Mike seem like a crazy extremist just because you are.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 8:03pm

    Re: One reason it's not allowed is...

    Or perhaps it's a simple case of white house employees are to busy tweeting about last nights football/basketball/soccer (or place whatever sport you want) game and not enough time doing their job.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    I have no anger toward Mike. I enjoy reading Techdirt because it is exactly like reading the onion, but written by someone who actually thinks the jokes are real. I am also amused by his SEO techniques and attempts to garner search engine love.

    Mike works very hard to make my comments (and the comments of a few other people) look like extremist rantings. His usual dismissal is "you need to go back to school", or "you just don't get basic economics", all the while spouting off stuff that made one MBA I know actually spit coffee on his laptop.

    Oh yeah, the topper: Try to pin Mike down on anything he posts, and he usually comes up with the "I didn't say that, you misread me" or "I didn't say that, it's just info from another site", all the while squirming around and trying so hard not to have an actual opinion in writing anyone can pin him to.

    The whole CfW+ deal is proof that he has cultivated some serious sheep here, falling for his stuff and actually giving him more justification on the way by. Buying his t-shirts or going to play miniputt with him is just fueling his very unrealistic view of the way things can work - most people getting something for nothing and a few people massively overpaying for just slightly more than the something everyone else got for nothing.

    So in the end, my views aren't very extremist, in fact I think I am very much middle of the road. It's easy for Mike to get positive comments when he is sucking the teat of the torrent sites and their users, but in the end, once people move out of Mom's basement and actually start making things of value for a living, they start to realize that there is no "FREE!" lunch.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "I have no anger toward Mike."

    You missed the point. You used the words, "outrage and something that isn't outrageous." but in as much as Mike indicated outrage you did so as well. Not that either of you did but if anything your posts indicate more outrage than his.

    "Mike works very hard to make my comments (and the comments of a few other people) look like extremist rantings."

    "So in the end, my views aren't very extremist"

    As if you are the ultimate judge of your own views, as if you are even qualified to judge your own views because you have no conflicts of interest.

    He doesn't need to, you are great at doing that all on your own.

    "most people getting something for nothing and a few people massively overpaying for just slightly more than the something everyone else got for nothing."

    You mean like when cable companies lobby for a monopoly and they lobby to have the government pay for the infrastructure so they can get something for nothing while taxpayers and customers are massively overpaying for nothing but commercials as a result of their lobbying efforts. You mean when the R&D from pharmaceuticals are often government funded yet the pharmaceutical corporations get the patents and they end up getting something for nothing while spending more on marketing and advertising than they do on R&D?

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "Mike works very hard to make my comments (and the comments of a few other people) look like extremist rantings."

    He doesn't need to, you are great at doing that all on your own.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "they start to realize that there is no "FREE!" lunch."

    I agree which is why we need to alleviate government regulations like intellectual property and make people work for their money. People shouldn't be allowed to freeload off of someone else's work just because they may have some patent that might remotely resemble some product that someone else is producing. If you want your lunch you have to work, you must compete in the free market, you can't lobby the government to hold your hand and give you monopolies (ie: cable companies) and patents so that you can simply look for someone who may accidentally create a product with a component that somewhat resembles your patent and sue. Enough of people lobbying the government for a free lunch and for regulations that benefit only special interest groups, we need to stand up for what's right.

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    Or you mean when newspapers can't compete in the free market so they want a free lunch by lobbying the government for laws that only benefit them and by wanting google to hand them over money just because they have failed to create a business model that works. The only people that want a free lunch are those that can't compete in the free market so they resort to lobbying the government and suing people.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    Mikes model is simple, you want to succeed, compete in the free market. Stop asking the government for a free lunch.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "You mean like when cable companies lobby for a monopoly and they lobby to have the government pay for the infrastructure so they can get something for nothing while taxpayers and customers are massively overpaying for nothing but commercials as a result of their lobbying efforts."

    You had a couple of cups to many of Mike's Koolaid.

    No, I am talking about Mike's proposed business models, especially for the music industry, which is to give their music away for free, and then charge the true fans much larger amounts of money for things like concert tickets and t-shirts to make up the bottom line. The vast majority get something for nothing (free music) and a very small minority end up overpaying for other stuff to make it up.

    Your comments just prove that you are solidly in Mike's camp, which makes your judgement of me somewhat less relvant, no?

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    Again, sorry, not my point, please re-read my comments above. Your examples are a nice attempt to deflect the discussion. Is that you Mike?

     

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  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 10:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    You're the one that started deflecting the discussion, the discussion was about the white house and twitter and you made it about "something for nothing".

    "Your comments just prove that you are solidly in Mike's camp, which makes your judgement of me somewhat less relvant, no?"

    I am not judging you, just pointing out the shortcomings of your position.

     

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  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 10:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    and no I am not Mike.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 11:07pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    Oh, so you only point out when the poor people allegedly want a free lunch but you don't care to point out when the rich and the powerful want a free lunch through government lobbying and such. So it's only ok for the rich and the powerful to steal from the poor and the powerless but not the other way around?

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 11:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    So why does your point about a free lunch not include the rich and the powerful stealing from the poor and the powerless through government lobbying? Why is that excluded from your point? Why pick on the poor and the powerless and not the rich and the powerful? Why leave them out?

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 24th, 2009 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "but outrage and something that isn't outrageous. "

    If anything the fact that you accuse him of being outraged with no evidence demonstrates your unjustified outrage against him.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    "Either way, makes you wonder if only the media communications people in the White House are allowed to use telephones, too."

    Sounds somewhat outraged to me, no?

     

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  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 12:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    No. He is just asking an interesting question is all. No outrage. How you see outrage is beyond me. Disagreement perhaps but not outrage.

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they are outraged.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    it isn't a straight question, it is a question of sort of vague disgust, gentle outrage, that sort of moral outrage Mike is so good at.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    I suppose if you want to interpret it that way. I suppose any message can be interpreted (or misinterpreted) by the reader any way s/he wishes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 26th, 2009 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agreed with commenters

    I think your accusations of his alleged outrage demonstrate more outrage on your part than he allegedly demonstrates.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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