It was the tweet that launched a thousand retweets — actually, 38,717 to be exact. On Thursday, "Barack Obama" took to twitter to warn everyone against spoilers:
Understandably, the Internet freaked out. President Obama has talked about his favorite TV shows before and explicitly mentioned House of Cards, but this was even better. Barack was being a regular guys tweeting regular things. It seemed too good to be true ... because it was.
What's important to know, and not necessarily obvious, is that the twitter account @BarackObama is not always the person Barack Obama. In fact, @BarackObama is run by Organizing for Action, a 501(c)(4) non-profit that ran the 2012 Obama reelection campaign. The account actually very clearly says this in its twitter description: "This account is run by Organizing for Action staff. Tweets from the President are signed -bo." According to the Wire, there have been zero tweets signed by -bo in the last four months. Simply put, President Barack Obama did not tweet about House of Cards.
From this, it shouldn't be too confusing, but that's just not how it works. Based on the picture and the very straight-forward twitter handle, most users automatically assume that this is actually Obama himself tweeting. Of course, a glance at some of "his" other tweets would reveal this probably isn't the case. Would he really be live-tweeting his own speech?
But then there's tweets like this one about House of Cards and one about Gay NFL prospect Michael Sam.
Who's actually tweeting here? It seems like Obama could be congratulating Michael Sam, but that's just not the case here, it's Organizing for Action's tweet. But, as the Wire points out, why not just tweet from their own account, @OFA? Well, it's unclear, but chances are a lot of people would be much less excited about a tweet coming from @OFA than from @BarackObama.