If there is one thing that the recent Twitter scandal surrounding NY Rep. Anthony Weiner did it slowed the use of social media by politicians. If there was ever a silver lining in an otherwise pathetic situation this may have been it. PC World reports
The “Weinergate” scandal caused a significant drop in tweeting politicians. According to VentureBeat, after the scandal “the number of tweets by Republican members of Congress dropped by 27 percent, while those of Democrats dropped by 29 percent.”
Of course, the US is gearing up for yet another fun filled presidential election process that promises to be full of promises which in turn usually means its full of something else too but that’s beside the point. President Obama established his ‘mastery’ of the social media arts in the last campaign and possibly won the election with the base of voters he motivated through online channels.
Expect more of the same this time. In light of recent political Twittertastrophes though the campaign is reigning in the control as noted on the president’s website
Starting today, you’ll notice something new about President Obama’s Facebook page and his Twitter account, @BarackObama.
Obama for America staff will now be managing both accounts, posting daily updates from the campaign trail, from Washington, and everywhere in between. You’ll be hearing from President Obama regularly, too; on Twitter, tweets from the President will be signed “-BO.”
Why make the change?
As the President said when he launched this campaign a few months ago, he’s focused on doing the job we elected him to do — so he’s counting on all of us to lead this organization from the grassroots up, helping to shape it as it grows.
Of course, my first question is “Who had control of this before last Friday?” We all knew that the tweets previously were not done by the President but this announcement seems kind of odd considering there are currently 8.75 million Twitter followers for the president’s account. I suspect many think they are hearing from the president himself (a testament to the intelligence of many Twitter users). The NY Times clears that up a bit
During the 2008 campaign, Democratic National Committee staffers wrote all the tweets to the @BarackObama account, according to a White House spokesman.
Why hasn’t Obama tweeted before? There’s a Washington culture of letting the underlings handle mass communications. While many Hollywood celebrities passionately type their own status updates, it’s more common among politicians to let employees manage their social media accounts.
As for Facebook? That’s really donation central. Here’s the landing page for the Facebook presence and it’s all about the benjamins.
So as we gear up for an election season here in the states that is sure to be heated, what will likely be one of the most active participant sports will be the watch to see who sticks their social media foot in their mouth the furthest. You know it’s going to happen. Heck, all it took was one weiner to press a wrong button and the wheels were ejected off that wagon.
Will a bigger fish go down in history as social media’s poster child for what not to do? Stay tuned. I bet we’ll have a
weiner winner sooner than later!