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November 18, 2009

Barrack Obama: I have never used twitter

For all the talk of Obama being a true beliver in social media and the power of the web to reach and create communities,the truth was finally out of the bag when the US president replying during a Q&A session at a town hall event with Chinese youth that was held in Shanghai this evening (which was streamed live on the web). The President fielded a question about the restricted use of Twitter in China and he had this to say, “I have never used Twitter but I’m an advocate of technology and not restricting internet access.”

Now most of us know that the president, or for that matter any president of a country would probably not have the time to tweet away to glory, and most of the time they are done by communications experts from the White House. But to say that the president has never ever used twitter is a let down to the thousands of followers who had followed Obama right up to the presidential campaign to his coronation as the nations president . This was something that most followers would find hard to believe and would feel duped ,that those tweets are not actually from the president but his communication team. And this too from a person who has reportedly raised 87% of his funds from social networking sites.

MG Siegler reports
President Barack Obama has one of the most popular Twitter accounts with over 2.6 million followers. It should be no real surprise that most of the time it’s not him tweeting from it, instead its various people within the White House communication team that use the account to send out information.

And now that he is the President, certainly there are some security concerns with him using something like Twitter. But, did you know that he’s actually never used Twitter at all?

Andy Beal of Marketing Pligrim probably sums it up best when he says that for all the talk of social media monitoring and reputation management expertise it would be interesting to see the fallout of something like this , when the real life personal of the individual is found out.

What we need to be looking at as social media “insiders” is talking a great game about transparency and then allowing the medium to be questioned and eventually devalued because there is nothing that is real. Will social media just become a place for online actors and actresses to portray others? Will we a need SMAG (Social Media Actor’s Guild) card to tweet at some point? We are treading on some thin ice in these areas when we talk about accessibility but then only fake it. Maybe being genuine is just old fashioned and overrated?

Maybe this is an emerging area of the online reputation monitoring and management industry which will require policies and actions on what to do when your social media persona is ‘found out’.(Marketing Pilgrim )

For all the talk of transparency of the social media.. Maybe we need to debate if social media is indeed over rated and like conventional media this too can be tweaked and given a spin to suit ones interest . Share your thoughts with me at webmaster@onlinemarketing-trends