Obama overshares, and Twitter rebels

Too many tweets about the debt ceiling causes 36,000 people to stop following the President.

Mar 3, 2020, 11:45 am*


Jordan Valinsky 

Jordan Valinsky

Social media experts take note: oversharing may be over.

Obama took to Twitter, the microblogging platform he rode to success in his presidential campaign, to urge concerned citizens to contact their Congressional representatives in Washington to push forward a bipartisan debt plan. He also urged tweeters to use the #compromise hash tag to promote a debt deal.

After years of relative inactivity, Obama has been tweeting more aggressively, especially since he conducted a Twitter-based town hall moderated by Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey (pictured here).

In his six-hour tweetathon, Obama’s team listed Republican congressmen in many states who are on Twitter for people to contact.

But his well-intentioned plan faced not only criticism on Twitter—a notoriously complaint-filled medium—but a measurable drop in followers. According to Mashable, a website about social media, Obama lost more than 36,000 followers, while Republican accounts gained more than 6,500 followers. (The president still counts more than nine million followers.)

Numbers aside, his followers were not amused.

Caitlin Whatley tweeted “We get it, Obama. You want us to tweet the republicans. You only needed to say it once.” Todd Rix called Obama a “Twitter spam bot,” while Omar Flores quipped “Is there a tweet ceiling and if there is can it take effect now!”

But Andy Daglas saw the amusing side.  When President Obama tweeted a photo of the day about a new fuel economy standard for cars, Andy tweeted “OH GOD, HE’S GONNA TWEET THE NAME OF EVERY CAR IN AMERICA…”

Anthony De Rosa, Reuters’ social media honcho, concluded that the tweetathon had a mixed effect on Obama’s followers. One Twitterer captured the silent majority’s likely reaction: He didn’t unfollow Obama’s account, but he didn’t contact his Congressman, either.

So, with 36,000 followers gone and countless complaints tweeted, mark “tweetathon” off your social media plan. If only Obama had paid attention to the Seattle Police Department’s experience with overtweeting earlier this week, this all could have been avoided.

Photo by geoliv

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*First Published: Jul 29, 2011, 8:01 pm