President Obama's first tweet was on 5/1/09. Starting on 5/1/17, this account will reenact his @whitehouse and @potus tweets in real time!— Relive 44 (@Relive44) December 21, 2016
Relive 44 is a Twitter bot that tweets the collected tweets of the Obama administration’s ownership of the @WhiteHouse and @POTUS accounts on a seven-year delay. For a complete description of the project, see our blog post.
The trickiest part about implementing a bot like this was making sure it wouldn't overwhelm people with tweets on the anniversary of busy days for the Obama administration. This kind of stuff is important news in the moment, but being overwhelmed with stuff on its seven-year anniversary is a little annoying. Fortunately, as long as we don't include RTs of other accounts (which made up the majority of tweets on @WhiteHouse and @POTUS), we did a quick analysis and at most you're going to see 10 tweets a day. And that's like... once every few months.
Something else we did was look at the most popular tweets from these accounts. Twitter doesn't provide fav/RT data in the Twitter archive exports, which is what we were given to work with. So we wrote some scripts to scrape this data and reassociate it with the archive JSON data that we'll be publishing soon.
We were approached about this project before the election and our feelings about the work definitely changed after early November. What began as a fun, almost glib, "ha, well, y’know, he’s not perfect but I’d hang out with him so I suppose I’ll work for him," joke between us became one of the more emotional client projects for us to do; not while dealing with the client, but immediately afterwards. (Translation: Courtney would have to go sob briefly in the bathroom.)