MANILA - The Twitter "blackout" among US government agencies in social media has reached Manila as the US Embassy here has suspended its account on the microblogging site, a vital platform for urgent announcements and critical information, amid the partial shutdown in the United States.
In a message posted on its Twitter account Friday, the US Embassy (@usembassymanila) redirected its followers to the Twitter account of its home agency, the US Department of State (@StateDept).
"Due to the lapse in appropriations, this twitter feed will not be updated regularly. Please visit @StateDept for updates," the embassy said.
The US Embassy, among the most active of foreign posts in Manila using social media, logged off Twitter just as other US agencies stopped tweeting for the meantime.
On Oct. 1, the US government initiated a partial shutdown after the US Congress, divided over a national health care law pushed by President Barack Obama and the Democrats, failed to pass a new funding bill just as the fiscal year ended.
The shutdown has furloughed nearly a million American government workers and forced the closure of national parks, veterans' offices and Nasa operations.
The closures extended to social media, with the US Capitol (@uscapitol), the Department of Agriculture (@USDA) and even the US government account @USA.gov signing off, along with national parks including the Smithsonian's National Zoo (@NationalZoo) and the Statue of Liberty (@StatueLibrtyNPS).
The embassy, however, has yet to post an advisory on its official Facebook page and on the social media accounts of its aid arm, the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr. is among Manila-based envoys with a strong social media presence, both on Twitter and Facebook.