Gibbs: Obama administration more transparent due to Twitter

The Obama administration views the advent of Twitter in the political world as a "good thing" that enhances transparency in government, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

The White House welcomes increased engagement through Twitter and other social media, Gibbs said, and will explore opportunities to continue online engagement going forward.

"It is a good thing, and let me tell you several reasons why," Gibbs said in response to a Twitter question. "People like you can write questions of me, or of the president, and have somebody answer them directly for you. The president campaigned on an open and transparent administration, and it's clear that the ability for citizens of this country to directly question those that work in the government is an obvious and good thing."

Gibbs and his deputy, Bill Burton, have sought to break news and enhance their messaging by joining Twitter. The social media service took off in political circles during the last term of Congress, and has shown no signs of slowing down in use for political purposes.

One way the administration has sought to use Twitter recently is through its "First Question" feature, in which Gibbs answers a few questions on video that he receives through Twitter. Those responses typically precede Gibbs's daily press briefing.

"I think the simple availability of more information for people to make decisions and to understand the decision-making of this administration and this president is absolutely a good thing, and we'll continue to do it," Gibbs said of his and the White House's use of Twitter.