It may be mere coincidence, but after The Atlantic Wire reported that the Twitter account @barackobama is no longer controlled by the Obama administration or the White House, the account began tweeting far less frequently — and the @whitehouse account began tweeting much more frequently.
We analyzed the tweets from both accounts — @barackobama, which is controlled by the non-profit Organizing For Action that leases the account from Obama's campaign, and @whitehouse, controlled by government employees in the administration — from February 14 to May 2. In the chart below, those tweets are plotted. The blue line is tweets from @barackobama; the red, from @whitehouse. Our report on the former was released on April 8, represented by the black line.
Calculating the average number of tweets sent each day from each account, the change becomes clear. Prior to the report, @barackobama tweeted an average of 8.15 times a day, while @whitehouse tweeted 7.04 times. After, @barackobama tweeted 3.05 times on average to @whitehouse's 13.91.
There are other signs that the White House is increasing its social media presence while OFA is scaling back. Last week, the White House launched a Tumblr page. The Tumblr page barackobama.tumblr.com, now controlled by OFA, has not been updated for three months. A report from Politico this morning criticized OFA for its lackluster efforts around the recent gun control debate.
When we spoke with Organizing For Action for our initial report, a spokesperson said, "Generally speaking, Organizing for Action, as a private and independent organization, does not coordinate its digital communications, including those on Twitter, with the White House." OFA didn't return a request for comment this morning.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.