The Washington Post

Thousands ‘unfollow’ @barackobama on Twitter

President Obama put out a call to his Twitterati on Friday. Many responded.

Many others “unfollowed.”

It started Friday morning when Obama, during a live address from the White House Diplomatic Reception Room about the debt ceiling deadlock, urged the public to call, e-mail and “tweet” their Congressional representatives to urge a compromise plan. It marked what is likely the first-ever Twitter call-out by a sitting president.

“If you want to see a bipartisan compromise — a bill that can pass both houses of Congress and that I can sign — let your members of Congress know,” Obama said. “Make a phone call. Send an e-mail. Tweet. Keep the pressure on Washington, and we can get past this.”

A short time later, Obama’s official 2012 campaign Twitter account announced to its 9.4 million followers that it would begin publishing the Twitter account names of House Republicans. Over the course of the day, @BarackObama sent out around 100 tweets.

Not everyone was enamored. The account stood at 9.366 million followers by 6 p.m., a loss of more than 30,000 followers. The White House’s official account, @whitehouse, was also publishing tweets at a rapid-fire pace throughout the day.

“I just unfollowed @barackobama seemed like a good #compromise,” wrote one Twitter user named @eriktimmons.

“Congrats to the spammer of the month... mr. president; @BarackObama,” wrote another, Michael Pangopoulos, whose Twitter name is @mostblind.

The mixed reviews are likely to be studied closely by the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, which has been trying to build its Twitter network with a series “tweet up” events with power users of the social media.

Read more on PostPolitics

Obama reenters debt fray

Comedians lambast “Armadebton”

McCain the maverick is back

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.


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