Starting Thursday, every White House social media posting from the past eight years will be archived online—even every GIF ever shared.
As they transition out of the White House, previous administrations have handed over notes, faxes, emails and other documents to the National Archives and Records Administration. In his two terms, President Barack Obama's White House was prolific on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and all those posts are being preserved in a series of searchable online archives.
Citizens can now download the White House's Vine, Facebook and Twitter archives directly, including from accounts belonging to Obama and the first lady.
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And in response to a White House call, several outside groups, including GIF search engine GIPHY, are creating repositories of White House social media content, according to a White House blog post.
ArchiveSocial, for instance, has consolidated more than 260,000 social media posts from sites such as Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Another group called Rhizome includes the history of the Obama administration's internet culture, including the "Thanks Obama" meme. MIT's Media Lab has analyzed White House tweets, including trends in topics addressed over the past eight years.
One group created a Twitter bot called @Relive44 that aims to periodically republish significant White House tweets that were posted during the Obama administration.
In October, the White House announced plans to transition many White House social media accounts to the incoming administration; after archiving tweets from @POTUS, for instance, Obama's digital transition team will clear that account's postings and hand it over to President-elect Donald Trump.
Under NARA's guidance, Obama's tweets will be stored at @POTUS44; the same protocol will follow for other prominent White House accounts such as @FLOTUS and @PressSec.