Wednesday, October 2, 2013

US Govt closes "free" online sites

The Obama administration orchestrated a shutdown of existing Federal websites and social media accounts on Tuesday, except those in support of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).  And many of those were incomplete, riddled with errors, or crashed (allegedly because of unexpectedly high demand).  Oh yes, and President Obama's Twitter account, which proclaimed "Despite the effort of extremists in the House of Representatives, @Obamacare is not shut down."  (to be fair, the President's Twitter account is actually run by his political action committee, which isn't supposed to be federally funded).

While I understand that the people running the sites and creating accounts may be considered "non-essential" personnel - and thus no new content could be added - that doesn't explain why people wouldn't be allowed to access existing or archived materials on sites.  Apparently the servers hosting the sites were considered essential, as people easily reached pages blaming lack of further access on the government shutdown.  So it would seem that the administration went out of the way to deny access to Federal online sites and services for political purposes.

Oh, and somebody should tell the PR folks handling the spin that Twitter and Facebook are free.  As in no cost to open, use and maintain.  At least the CDC had the sense to say that the shutdown might limit updating or responses, while keeping their accounts active.  Most others just pulled the plug to deny public access to "the most transparent administration in history."

Source -  Facebook and Twitter Federal Accounts Go Silent; Web Sites Shut Down,  Online Media Daily

No comments:

Post a Comment