UPDATE: The Obama administration has set up rainbow-colored lights to illuminate the real-life White House.
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) June 27, 2015
The official White House YouTube channel as of this writing is broadcasting a live stream video of the spectacle:
The original story begins below.
Followers of Barack Obama’s White House social media accounts got an extra treat Friday after the Supreme Court declared a constitutional right to same-sex marriage.
During a series of celebratory tweets, the official accounts changed their profile photos to an illustration of the White House covered in LGBT pride rainbow colors.
— White House Archived (@ObamaWhiteHouse) June 26, 2015
On Facebook, the profile picture change was “liked” by Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of the social media giant.
A recent profile by the Washington Post says that the White House Office of Digital Strategy currently has 14 employees, more than George W. Bush’s entire press office in 2005. Author Juliet Eilperin writes of the robust social media strategy:
The new strategy offers benefits as well as risks. The White House can reach more people without the filter of the traditional media, target its audience with precision and receive almost immediate feedback. But the approach raises the prospect of fostering further political polarization if the president opts to communicate mostly with parts of the electorate that identify with him ideologically or can be helpful politically.
Critics worry that governance by social media will cheapen the power of the presidency by substituting hashtag activism for serious policymaking. And in these exceptionally partisan times, some see the president’s prodigious use of social media as just another example of the cozy political relationship between the political left and Hollywood and Silicon Valley.
However history judges Obama’s role in transforming the office, this first American president of the social media age has already established a standard for how politicians connect with a digitally savvy electorate. Other chief executives did network TV; Obama is the streaming-video, Netflix president.
As of this writing, the rainbow White House is the avatar of the White House accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, YouTube, and Instagram. It has not been changed on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Vimeo (beaten to the punch by Vimeo itself), Flickr, Scribd, or Github.