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[liberationtech] White House Comment Line shut down!

Doc Searls dsearls at
Sat Jan 28 16:30:21 PST 2017

Mother Jones used to have a great slogan: “You trust your mother, but you cut the cards.”

The mother of the "telling people to go away and send their comments via Fb messenger!” message is the BoingBoing piece here: <> The pulll quote: "The White House closed its public comments line has been closed for four days now; Trump says that people who want to leave a comment for the President can write a Facebook message instead.”

Nowhere in the comments...


… is there any disagreement with that. Nor is there in this thread.

So I just cut the cards, and called the White House. Here is what the voice message there says:

"Thank you for calling the White House comment line. The comment line is currently closed, but your comment is important to the President, and we urge you to send us a comment online at, or send us a message through Facebook Messenger. For government information by topic…”

The full URL is this: There is a form to fill out there, and a place to enter one’s comment.

The same page can also be reached by going to, clicking on the “Participate” heading, which brings down a menu with “Contact the White House” on it, and the same page.

Now, it could be that Facebook Messenger yesterday (when the BoingBoing piece went up) was the only way one could send a comment to the White House. And it could be that President Trump said to use Facebook Messenger. (I looked and can’t find evidence of that.)

My point: we need to be careful and check all the facts that we can.

Speaking as a child (now a geezer) of the ‘60s (when, among other things, I was a civil rights activist in North Carolina who even fucked, stupidly, with the Klan), I sense that doing the usual lefty things will mostly play into Trump’s short-fingered hands. We need to budget our outrage and come at the problems he causes from angles other than the usual ones.

Toward that, here’s one possibility, which I offer without comment:


> On Jan 27, 2017, at 4:13 PM, José María Mateos <chema at> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 03:14:06PM -0800, Yosem Companys wrote:
>> The White House comment line ( 202-456-1111 <(202)%20456-1111> ) has been shut down. It is worth calling just to hear the message telling people to go away and send their comments via Fb messenger!
> A number of outlets are reporting this (example: I find it quite outrageous, in many levels (so now you need an account at a private company in order to communicate with a public official --supposing these messages are ever even read/heard). Not the most important thing going on in recent days, but still...
> JMM.
> -- 
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