recommended reading

You're Not Really Following @BarackObama on Twitter

Charles Dharapak/AP file photo

The 29,503,030 people who follow Barack Obama's Twitter account might see his picture, see his name, see that little blue verified account badge and think they're following the President — but it's not him. All of the president's named social media accounts, in fact, have been handed over to a non-partisan, not-for-profit group that isn't overly concerned if you didn't notice the transition. As the first sitting President with a Twitter account, the murky handover raises questions that didn't exist ten years ago — Can a politician legally hand over his valuable online identity to an outside group? Is it ethical? — but makes clear federal regulators are unprepared to answer them.

Obama was one of the first politicians to recognize the potential of social media in communicating with voters. His Twitter account was created by a staffer on March 5, 2007, two months before he formally announced his candidacy. Throughout that contest, his first term, and second campaign for the presidency, Obama's campaign staff used it to share news about the president's policy priorities and to try and engage Americans in his efforts. Then, in January, it handed the reins to Organizing for Action, a new entity that took over much of Obama's campaign apparatus: website, social media accounts, email list — even the abbreviated shorthand of "OFA." The organization updated the bios associated with the social media accounts ("This account is run by Organizing for Action staff") and then kept tweeting and Facebooking, with a new emphasis on joining — and, ideally, contributing to — the new OFA. Without skipping a beat, a brand-new organization gained millions of followers on social media. It's like the president, mid-conversation, handed his phone to a telemarketer who does a great Obama impression. Or, to be more accurate, one telemarketer — the campaign — handed the phone to another one.

Read the entire story at The Atlantic Wire.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.