Suddenly the White House Is Tweeting a Lot More Often

Philip Bump
Suddenly the White House Is Tweeting a Lot More Often

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.

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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.

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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.

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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, 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.

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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.