The White House announced over the weekend that President-elect Barack Obama will have to remove all traces of himself from the internet, due to the Presidential Records Act. This includes not only giving up his Blackberry, but also removing all social networking profiles, public campaign websites, and any mention of him in blog postings and/or news reports.
“Due to the private nature and high security level associated with the Presidency, Obama will have to stop using email, updating his Facebook status and sending our ‘tweets’ to his more than 102,000 followers on Twitter,” a top aide stated over the weekend, “In fact, he’s going to have to go off-line completely – limiting his access to printed information only…and even that material would be more than a week old, to ensure it’s properly ‘vetted’.”
This news apparently caused much concern with the president-elect (in some circles dubbed “Obama 2.0“), who is apparently addicted to posting links, funny videos from the campaign trail and MP3s of his favorite bands on his MySpace account.
Major social media outlets have been asked to comply, including popular sites such as YouTube, Hulu.com and Friendfeed being asked to “purge” any video, audio or text stories that make any reference to the president-elect.
Obama’s latest YouTube “fireside chat” has already been blocked, and replaced with a Rick Astley video (however, yooRyoo has obtained a secret link to the video here):
A much bigger impact will be felt within the blogosphere itself – where already right-wing “anti-Obama” blog writers are complaining that they will have no more material to rant about.
“They can’t do this – it’s un-American,” said Matt Drudge late Sunday night, “I am just finishing up a piece about how Barack claims to wear boxer-briefs but really ‘goes commando‘…they can’t take away my livelihood!”
Even websites friendly to the new president are concerned: Slate.com and Politico.com have filed for “special exemption” status, promising to become exclusive online propaganda outlets for the new administration.
When asked for an official response from the president-elect, all emails bounced back with an “Undeliverable” error.