Twitter has exploded in popularity in recent years, rivaling more established social networks like Facebook. From the very beginning, Twitter has been championed by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Taylor Swift as a perfect way to reach out to fans and share their thoughts. It didn’t take long for politicians to take notice either. Barack Obama’s campaign embraced the Internet and social media during his 2008 candidacy, and ever since he was elected, he has maintained an active Twitter account that currently has 30.1 million followers.
However, a vast majority of the tweets that come from this account aren’t written by the president. On the rare occasion that President Obama personally tweets, he signs it with a distinct “-bo”. While most people understand that the tweets coming from this account may no longer be tied to Barack Obama or even his staff, many still believe that each and every tweet from “@BarackObama” is tweeted by the president, or at the very least a White House intern who painstakingly writes each message to avoid typos, spelling errors, and other embarrassing gaffes. But in reality, the President’s social media accounts, while previously maintained by staff, are now maintained by a 501(c)4 called Organizing for Action.
The problem with this is that Barack Obama’s Twitter account is considered “verified,” which means it has been researched and deemed credible and trustworthy. Twitter verifies accounts belonging to celebrities and other noteworthy people to ensure they are the authentic sources of their tweets, as compared to people who create fake accounts and pose as others on Twitter. Is it possible accounts that may change hands over time no longer receive any scrutiny?
Whatever the answer to this question, it’s generally agreed that Barack Obama’s name and picture appearing on Twitter have done wonders for his career and campaigns, and other presidential hopefuls have taken notice and will certainly take advantage of the service in 2016 and beyond.