Emerging Tech

Feds Chronicle First Day Back in Social Media

Vice President Joe Biden brought muffins to EPA staff back at work Thursday.

Vice President Joe Biden brought muffins to EPA staff back at work Thursday. // Jacquelyn Martin/AP

President Obama signed legislation Wednesday night that ended the 16-day-old government shutdown, averted a default on U.S. government debt and brought thousands of federal employees back to work.

As those employees returned to the office Thursday morning, they fired up websites and social media accounts that had been dormant during the two week shutdown.

Many agencies furloughed between 50 and 90 percent of employees during the shutdown, including most or all of the communications staffers that run the government’s information and outreach services via social media.

Many of those employees weren’t silent during the shutdown, but they were barred from tweeting or posting anything official on behalf of their agencies.

The last-minute agreement between Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate also awarded back pay to federal employees who had been out of work for two weeks, though many contractors will go unpaid.

Here’s a rundown of Thursday’s return to the office as it played out on social media.

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