White House- Paul Gordon Collier

 

President Barack Obama has long pushed the bounds of Presidential power in how his administration has used Social Networking, Web Publishing to push the narratives out the administration wants to see advanced.  Has the President gone too far with the latest use of whitehouse.gov?  The site’s front page has become a glorified ‘squeeze page’ to sell gun control to the American people.

This administration has, in effect, become a political advertisement for anti-gun rights advocates, and you, the American people, are paying for the marketing.

When you go to the site, you will get a giant pop-up ad instead of getting resources from the White House.  They have essentially turned public property, the White House website, into a political advocacy site.  Here is what the popup looks like-

white house gun control popup ad

If you click on the ‘learn more’ link, it takes you to this place- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence/action

white house gun control sell page 2

If you click on the ‘get stated’ link- this popup appears-

white house gun control sell page 3

Here is what it actually says:

#NowIsTheTime to act

“I support common-sense steps to reduce gun violence. #NowIsTheTime to act. Share this if you agree:”
My voice and support will be heard via:

You will allow Thunderclap to share this message once on your behalf, along with other
supporters. If the goal is not reached, no message will be shared. Opt out
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It would appear they are trying to create a twitter/facebook bomb to move Senators and Congressmen to vote in favor of gun control.  Is this a justifiable use of our public property, the White House website?  Is it appropriate for the President to so overtly utilize property that is intended to serve the public, and not to advance their own political campaign efforsts?  As a web marketer, I can tell you the monetary value of the White House offering its site to build a massive Twitter/Facebook bomb would be in the hundreds of thousands.  This is, effectively, a political ad being organized by public officials on our dime, using our property to do it.
If you fail to click on the pop-up ad, then the site itself has become a giant ad for this political advertisement:
white house gun control sell page 1
If you click on the ‘hear one Mom’s story” link, you will see a Sandy Hook Parent make a plea for ‘responsible’ gun control legislation-
If you click on the “Learm more” link it takes you to the main sell page for this political advertisement that we, the taxpapers, paid for- http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/preventing-gun-violence/action
Is this an appropriate use of our tax dollars and the people’s property?  Has President Obama gone too far?
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Notes on the app the White House wants you to connect your Facebook and/or Twitter account to-
The App is called “Thunderclap”.  It is a so-called ‘crowdspeaking’ app, designed to get a message pushed across the social networks quickly:
Here is how they describe themselves- Welcome to thunderclap.it (the “Website”), operated by De-De Group, LLC (“we,” “us,” or “our”). By using this Website and our services, including, but not limited to, the Thunderclap™ application designed to be used on your computer and/or mobile device (the “Licensed Application”), YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY ALL OF THE TERMS OF THESE TERMS OF USE (these “Terms of Use”).We reserve the right to modify these Terms of Use and/or the Website at any time. We may provide notice of changes to these Terms of Use or other matters by posting updated text on this Website, and your continued use of the Website following the posting of any change or modification to these Terms of Use will constitute your acceptance of the modified Terms of Use, and your use will be subject to the Terms of Use in effect at the time of your use. You agree to review these Terms of Use periodically.
But here are some stories from this past summer about this app that may cause some of you to scratch your heads as to why the White House is still using this app:

Twitter suspends Thunderclap ‘crowdspeaking’ app | Internet

news.cnet.com › NewsInternet & MediaCachedShare

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Steven Musil
by Steven Musil – in 635 Google+ circles – More by Steven Musil

Jun 7, 2012 – App’s OAuth token is pulled a day after nearly 2000 people used it to send a wave of simultaneous tweets to a pair of U.S. senators. Read this

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