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Why are whitehouse.gov web pages disappearing?

President Donald Trump waved to supporters as he walked the inaugural parade route past the main reviewing stand in front of the White House.Patrick Smith/Getty Images

On Friday, as Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president, people began to notice web pages disappearing from the official White House website, whitehouse.gov, including pages about climate change, health care, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, issues.

The mysterious changes were quickly noticed by news organizations and people on social media.

But the content from those web pages has not been deleted. Rather, it has been moved to a new website. And it appears that the content’s relocation was expected and has been standard procedure for when a new president has taken over in the digital age.


The Obama administration in October posted on its blog about how whitehouse.gov would undergo an overhaul in the transition to a new president.

“Similar to the Clinton and Bush White House websites, President Obama’s WhiteHouse.gov will be preserved on the web and frozen after January 20th and made available at ObamaWhiteHouse.gov,” the post said. “The incoming White House will receive the WhiteHouse.gov domain and all content that has been posted to WhiteHouse.gov during the Obama administration will be archived with NARA,” the National Archives and Records Administration.

While some whitehouse.gov web pages now only display, “the requested page ... could not be found,” that content can be found on the new website that archives the Obama administration’s version of whitehouse.gov.

For example, the old LGBT page, whitehouse.gov/lgbt, can be found at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/lgbt.

The old climate change webpages, whitehouse.gov/energy/climate-change, can be found at obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/energy/climate-change.

And the old healthcare page, whitehouse.gov/the-record/health-care, is here: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-record/health-care.

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump administration, said in an e-mail to the Globe Friday that the changes to whitehouse.gov were “expected.”

“The transition of the site is in progress as updates are made,” she wrote.


Matt Rocheleau can be reached at matthew.rocheleau@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mrochele