White House Lays Out Digital Tools for Presidential Transition

Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com

Obama commits to social media sharing finale before January departure.

Touting President Obama’s status as “the first social media president,” the White House late Monday announced principles with which it plans to conduct the first digital presidential transition.

In a blog post reviewing the administration’s eight-year digital accomplishments, Kori Schulman, special assistant to the president and deputy chief digital officer, said the handoff to the next administration will respect three goals.

“First, we are preserving the material we’ve created with the National Archives and Records Administration,” she wrote. “From tweets to snaps, all of the material we’ve published online will be preserved with NARA just as previous administrations have done with records ranging from handwritten notes to faxes to emails.

“Second, wherever possible, we are working to ensure these materials continue to be accessible on the platforms where they were created, allowing for real time access to the content we’ve developed,” she wrote.

“Finally, we are working to ensure that the next president and administration–regardless of party–can continue to use and develop the digital assets we have created to connect directly with the people they serve.”

Specifically, that means the handle @POTUS will be reserved for the 45th president on Jan. 20, 2017, already outfitted with its more than 11 million followers. In addition, @POTUS44, a newly created handle maintained by NARA, will contain all of Obama’s tweets along with those of other top White House officials and will be accessible to the public on Twitter as an archive, like normal presidential records.

A similar arrangement is being made for Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and YouTube.

As happened when the Clinton and George W. Bush presidencies ended, the Whitehouse.gov website will be frozen after Jan. 20 and preserved. Thousands of hours of White House videos will move over to the Archives.

Obama’s digital accomplishments, in the White House view, include being the first POTUS on Twitter, the first to go live on Facebook, the first to answer questions from average Americans on YouTube and the first president to use a filter on Snap chat. In 2013, first lady Michelle Obama posted her first photo on Instagram.

“Looking back over the past eight years, our digital footprint reflects some broader changes in the ways people consume news and information and engage with the world around them online,” Schulman wrote.

“This work began on President Obama’s 2008 campaign and, over the course of this administration, has increasingly meant meeting people where they are online, using technology to re-imagine traditional formats and creating unique opportunities for people to interact with their government.”

In a continuation of its push for open data, the White House promised that “by the end of this administration, we're committed to publicly sharing our social media content in an easily accessible and comprehensive way (e.g., zip files to download),” Schulman wrote. “In the interim, we're inviting the American public–from students and data engineers, to artists and researchers–to come up with creative ways to archive this content and make it both useful and available for years to come.”

Milestones cited include revamping Whitehouse.gov to add a blog, RSS feed and email list, along with adding a White House presence on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Video, iTunes and Myspace. In 2015, Obama sent his first presidential tweet, and in 2016, the White House debuted an official story on Snapchat for the State of the Union address.

The "We the People" petition platform website launched in 2009 has more than 12 million verified users who created more than 470,000 petitions, she reported. In all, number of tweets the White House has sent, Schulman added, could reach 30,000.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.