Comment Collecting at the White House

By Caomhin

Obama promised his Administration would the be the most transparent in the history of our nation.  That was on the campaign trail of course.  As we all know, campaign promises often turn out to be a nothing more than talk.  In this case, though, for a campaign and team of people so talented with their use of new media, their trolling of social networking sites to collect comments without notification should raise a few eyebrows:

The White House is collecting and storing comments and videos placed on its social-networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube without notifying or asking the consent of the site users, a failure that appears to run counter to President Obama’s promise of a transparent government and his pledge to protect privacy on the Internet.

The proposal issued Aug. 21 calls for a contractor to “crawl and archive” social-networking Web sites where the White House maintains an official presence on seven networks: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo and Slideshare.

The collection will include the comments, tags, graphics, audio and video posted by users who don’t work for the White House.

It’s actually worth reading the whole article, and honestly, it’s something that I probably would have laughed off if a random person had told me this was going on.  But no, it’s the Washington Times reporting this and the most transparent, tech savvy Administration ever has no problem with this.  You hear this phrased a lot, but seriously, what if President Bush had done this?  What do you think the reaction would be?


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