The White House posts on their blog tonight their explanation on changes to their Reality Check site, and specifically the removal of firstname.lastname@example.org. This post was put on the blog moments ago and was not sent out as a press release from the White House Press Office.
WHITE HOUSE BLOG
MONDAY, AUGUST 17TH, 2009 AT 7:10 PM
Since the White House's Reality Check site launched, we've seen incredible response from individuals eager to get the facts about health insurance reform and pass them along to family and friends.
An ironic development is that the launch of an online program meant to provide facts about health insurance reform has itself become the target of fear-mongering and online rumors that are the tactics of choice for the defenders of the status quo.
So let's clear up two issues that have come to our attention.
White House Email Updates
Email updates from the White House have played a central role in our effort to push back on misinformation and get the facts out about health insurance reform. These updates will continue to be an important source of information about the President, his priorities and opportunities for public participation.
It has come to our attention that some people may have been subscribed to our email lists without their knowledge -- likely as a result of efforts by outside groups of all political stripes -- and we regret any inconvenience caused by receiving an unexpected message. We're certainly not interested in anyone receiving emails from the White House who don't want them. That's one reason why we have never -- and will never -- add names from a commercial or political list to the White House list.
At the bottom of every message is a link to unsubscribe from emails that anyone can use to avoid this in the future. We have also implemented measures on WhiteHouse.gov to boost the security of the mailing list and we will carefully evaluate signups already received to work toward preventing this problem in the future.
However, it's clear that a lot of Americans appreciate getting updates from the White House and that number continues to grow. Despite reports by some bloggers and others in the media that have invoked a variety of sinister conspiracy theories, more people signed up for updates last week than during the entire month of July. If you haven't joined already, you can easily sign up here .
Suggesting New Topics for Us to Address Through the Reality Check Site
The Reality Check website exists to inform public debate about health insurance reform - not stifle it. As the President said, "We are bound to disagree, but let's disagree over issues that are real." To that end, we've seen incredible response from website visitors who are using the tools provided on the site to share videos and other content with friends and family.
To better understand what new misinformation is bubbling up online or in other venues, we want your suggestions about topics to address through the Reality Check site. To consolidate the process, the email address set up last week for this same purpose is now closed and all feedback should be sent through: http://www.whitehouse.gov/realitycheck/contact