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How the New White House Keeps Bungling Social Media

by Alyssa Newcomb /
Upon returning from Philadelphia, President Donald Trump walks along the West Wing Colonnade on his way to the Oval Office at the White House, Jan. 26, 2017 in Washington, D.C.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

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Barack Obama was the first sitting president to join Twitter, making this first social media transition — to borrow a word from President Trump — "unpresidented."

In the past week, Trump has continued his trigger-happy tweeting on his personal account. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has twice tweeted what looks like either his password or an accidental (i.e. gobbledygook) message. And then there are reports that multiple Trump staffer accounts, including the @POTUS account, are linked to private email addresses.

Couple all of this with news on Friday that the president now has a Snapchat account, and all bets could be off.

Related: What Happens to the @POTUS Twitter After Obama Leaves?

Self-described hacker WauchulaGhost showed what happened when they apparently tried to log into the @POTUS account. A recovery Gmail address beginning with the letters "ds" was speculated to belong to White House director of social media, Dan Scavino.

WauchulaGhost tweeted on Thursday that Scavino and his team appeared to have fixed the issue.

While the @POTUS account was turned over to Trump's team on January 20, President Trump has opted to continue tweeting from his personal account, sending out messages with his same signature tone, complete with plenty of caps and exclamation marks.

It's unclear if anyone is keeping the notorious tweeter in check. Trump is known for firing off tweets and has, on occasion, made some embarrassing typos: He once called Marco Rubio a "leightweight chocker," confused the names of American cities, referred to an MSNBC host as "one of the dummer people on television," and even misspelled "Barrack" Obama's name.

Related: Trump Is Likely Violating President Records Act by Deleting Tweets

"Anytime you are making a physical mistake as a high-profile person or brand, that is obviously a problem. Your audience is always going to be extremely critical," Allison Matherly, coordinator of digital engagement at Texas Tech University told NBC News.

"You're going to get told, 'Hey what are you talking about? You don't even know the English language. What are you doing?'" she said.

With most high-profile accounts, Matherly said there's a team of people who draft a tweet or another piece of content. At least one other person will look at it to ensure it's free of typos and makes sense for the brand before it's published, she said.

"People see him posting and they like that authenticity," she said of Trump. However, she recommends he "works with the resources he has [at the White House ] to effectively communicate with the American public."

In the meantime, the Twitterverse has been enjoying the lapses.

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