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Should the White House Keep Its Tweets?

BY Nancy Scola | Thursday, April 28 2011

House Oversight Committee chair Darrell Issa has scheduled a hearing for May 3rd to talk about how to handle archiving White House tweets and Facebook posts, reports Politico's Tony Romm:

“White House policy instructs staffers who receive emails on unofficial or personal accounts which contain official business to voluntarily preserve those emails as Presidential Records,” the notice reads. “The policy does not address the preservation of records which may be generated from personal use of Twitter, Facebook, instant messaging, SMS or other forms of communication.”

As the person charged with oversight over the executive branch, Issa has a particular interest in the digital preservation. As Romm mentions, Last year Issa investigated then-White House Deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin for what was contained in his White House and Gmail e-mail accounts. One question that would be fascinating to see addressed at the hearing is what counts as "official business" when we're talking about what's contained in a public-facing tweet, especially when government employees might be tweeting from personal-seeming accounts, like P.J. Crowley was when he was employed by the State Department.