White House Embraces Social Media, Hears from The People

By Lindsey Ellerson

May 1, 2009 6:24pm

The White House today officially announced it had launched pages on Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter.

The White House Facebook page appears to have been officially launched on April 10, with some postings last night.

Postings today included the President’s Remarks on Justice Souter and the latest information about H1N1 flu.

The White House’s first Facebook friend (out of 54,056 signed up so far) to comment about the President’s remarks on Justice Souter — "Jordan Dunn" — said "hmm…now thats what we need to know….lets just ignore all the dying kids in africa and the wars that are going on….keep it up white house!!!!"

Many of the following remarks posted were spent insulting Jordan Dunn and defending the president.

Not all, though. "Kori-Renee Apellido" wrote: "PLEASE appoint a true, dyed-in-the-wool PROGRESSIVE justice! Not a moderate, not a conservative, but someone who will sincerely guard the interest of the rest of America that doesn’t come from a family of lawyers and politicians!"

Douglas at 2:55pm May 1: "This is precisely why we needed Obama as President; we need to restore the legitimacy of our courts."

Ken at 3:01pm May 1: "See what a little intellect can do when put to the test! Clearsightedness! Back to 20/20 vision with some hindsight. Education needs to definitely be a primary focus as our children inherit this world. Teach your children well!"

Kathy at 3:05pm May 1: "I hope the President picks a woman."

Mark at 3:08pm May 1: "I’ll hold my congratulatory remarks until the nominee is revealed."

The White House MySpace page also invited ardent defenders and a few critics among its 6,995 friends.

"Senor Helskini," for example, wrote:

"O ne
"B ig
"A ss
"M istake
"A merica.

While "Milkshake" wrote: "Obama is spying on Americans without a warrant JUST LIKE BUSH did. Obama voters – did you know you were voting for a man who would listen in on our phone calls and read our e-mails? Or did you think the Bush days would be over? GOOGLE IT IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE ME! Obama = Bush. Time to wake up!"

Petra, on the other hand, writes: "Just wanted to say that i believe we have made a great choice in President! Am waiting for the best…. "

And "Nancy Hidalgo" wrote "Mr. President, You are my role-model. Thank you and keep up the good work! Say hello to the family for me =]"

The White House has 12,595 followers on twitter where so far two of its six messages have dealt with influenza.

"Check out the CDC website (www.cdc.gov) or @CDCemergency to learn more about H1N1 flu (swine flu), as well as prevention tips," "WhiteHouse" wrote. 

The White House already had accounts on Flickr – where it released photos this afternoon of the President speaking on the phone to Justice Souter, on Vimeo, on Youtube, and on iTunes.

- jpt

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