A casualty of the US government shutdown: American embassy Twitter, other social media accounts


The Twitter feed and other social media accounts of the US Embassy and consulates in India have been temporarily suspended due to lapse in appropriations.

If you follow the Twitter handles of the US Embassy and the country’s four consulates in India and have missed seeing any new tweets from them on your timeline, do not think that the missions are still on an extended holiday mode.

In a surprising announcement, just days ahead of Christmas, a tweet from the US Embassy in New Delhi informed that the Twitter feed will not be updated regularly. If this was not an unexpected news in itself, considering how the world today lives on social media, the reasons cited were even more astounding. It was stated that the reason for this break in updates was lapse in appropriations. In other words, a partial US government shutdown over funding for President Trump’s border wall.

Following the development, Ken Juster, US Ambassador to India, tweeted today from his official account informing his followers of the same. He wrote that since December 22, there was a lapse in appropriations funding for some parts of the US government. There will be no update from any of the social media platforms during this lapse and for any updates, he said, urging the users to visit “the @StateDept Twitter during this time.”

Sensing that this development could send panic among millions of its followers and may also confuse people, before what is believed to be a temporary lapse, the Twitter handle also informed that during this lapse, all the official work would be carried on as usual and none of the embassy consular services will be affected.

All those who have scheduled visa interviews or American citizen services appointments, should arrive at the embassy at their designated times.

The American Center and the American Center Library in New Delhi are closed until further notice. Dosti House in Mumbai, the American cultural and education center, USEIF in Kolkata and American Centers across India will remain closed until further notice.

The US Embassy in India is a popular Twitter handle with more than 80,000 followers. The unexpected suspension surprised many followers. While some were naturally concerned about the official updates, others were amused at the reason cited. The Instagram account of the US Embassy in India has also not been updated since December 21.

Similarly, the embassy’s Facebook page is also inactive. A message on the page read: “Due to the lapse in appropriations, this Facebook account will not be updated regularly. Please visit @StateDept on Twitter for updates.”

While we would have loved to see post-Christmas and New Year updates from the Twitter feed, just before this abrupt intermission the embassy handle did leave us with some delightful pictures and videos of the embassy staff in India enjoying their holiday season. Do check them out, while we wait for another update!

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