The Obama-YouTube love affair is at its end…at least in its official role on whitehouse.gov. The Obama administration recently bailed on its embeddable YouTube videos and chose clips powered by Akamai, a web service hosted on local servers rather than those of Google. The administration cited concerns over privacy voiced by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Center for Digital Democracy.
Google tracks visitors with long term cookies through YouTube and because Obama’s Weekly Address is an official government function, the underlying technology should be hosted and controlled by government servers. After running a campaign driven by internet media and cutting edge technology, Obama is facing a tough digital transition to the bureaucracy of Washington. PaidContent reports:
The White House, in trying to use technology to reach the masses, is also running into other infrastructure issues, including the inability to send mass e-mail updates or text messages, or post info about upcoming bills to Whitehouse.gov far enough in advance so that visitors can review and comment on them before the President votes.
Some of the delays are procedural: the Presidential Records Act mandates that web pages be archived whenever they’re modified, slowing down site updates and additions. But others are partly because there isn’t any protocol for things like weekly video addresses or mass commenting on pending legislation. “This is uncharted territory,” White House director of new media, Macon Phillips, told the Washington Post, the site is “an ongoing experiment.”