White House (mostly) ends its ban on social media and photos

After 40 years of banning photography — and later on social media — during White House public tours, the Obama administration has decided to lift the limitation. Michelle Obama announced the change today on the White House's Instagram page, showing the White House's photography ban sign and saying those rules no longer apply. She ripped the sign in half, and thus ends an era, at least for the most part. There are still some limitations on what you can use to snap your pictures.

The White House had banned photography for multiple reasons, but the big two were issues with tourists slowing everyone down by stopping to take photos, and also concerns about damage to the artwork due to flash photography. Because of the latter issue, flash photography is still banned.

Those who take photos on a tour are being encouraged to share their photos using the hashtag #WhiteHouseTours. Numerous photos can already be found under it, including of the first family's dog Bo. There are still some limits on what is permissible, though.

A smartphone can be used to snap pics, as can a digital camera that has a fixed lens that doesn't extend more than three inches from the camera. You can't whip out your selfie stick, though, and tripods aren't allowed either. And they're be no Periscoping (no live-streaming in general).

SOURCE: New York Times