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President Bush joins Facebook

President Bush joins Facebook

The former president is off to a fast start in terms of the number of followers he's garnered on the social network.

President George W. Bush launched an official Facebook page Tuesday morning, and quickly gained a large contingent of followers, just a week after his forthcoming Presidential library created a Twitter feed.

Bush's presence on Facebook and Twitter follows in a line of government and public figures making use of the sites as a way to have their voice heard. For example, other government figures with official Facebook pages include Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and minority leader John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Many of the high-level politicians and government officials on Facebook and Twitter appear to delegate posting status updates to others, but there are some notable exceptions, such as Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas. Bush appears to stay in line with the rule rather than the exception, as his posts refer to him in the third person.

The initial post updated people on Bush's accomplishments and whereabouts since departing office last year, noting that he's visited 20 states and eight countries, launched the George W. Bush Presidential Center, finished a draft of his memoir, and worked with President Clinton on a fund set up to facilitate the reconstruction of Haiti.

That lack of a personal touch didn't stop a swell of people from visiting his Facebook page. By 4 p.m. Wednesday, more than 27,000 people "liked" Bush's Facebook page, and the President's "wall" had garnered hundreds of comments.

Though the comments range from negative to positive, most are overwhelmingly positive. Typical of these are comments along the lines of "God bless you" and "we miss you."

However, it appears some negative comments are being deleted. For example, though a comment about Bush "destroying the planet" has remained up, numerous others, including from a man claiming to have heckled Bush at a Fourth of July event in 2008, quickly disappeared from Bush's Facebook wall. Some others posted complaints that their comments had been deleted.

Government IT Leadership Forum is a day-long venue where senior IT leadership in U.S. government comes together to discuss how they're using technology to drive change in federal operations. It happens in Washington, D.C., June 15. Find out more here.


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