Barack Obama Jokes About Having a 'Finsta' and the Internet Wants to Go Sleuthing
What was the internet supposed to do — not latch onto a joking comment from Barack Obama that he has a "finsta"?
The former president made the reference in a playful public service announcement on Wednesday encouraging voting-by-mail.
"Over the past few months, I've learned a thing or two from young people about how to quarantine successfully," Obama, 59, says in the video from media company ATTN:.
"You've taught me how to make a mean sourdough starter. (It looks awful.) You showed me the Renegade Challenge — great name by the way — which I've been enjoying on my finsta," he continues. (His Secret Service code-name was Renegade.)
"So," Obama says, "since you've given me so much lately and so much hope over the years, I want to return the favor and help you make a plan in the upcoming election."
Though he mentions a few different recent habits, would-be internet investigators have honed in on one in particular: that the 44th president might have a "finsta," or secret Instagram account.
And while it seems likeliest Obama was only messing around, in a self-deprecating style meant to connect with younger voters, some social media users cracked that they should work overtime to find the account. Just in case.
Another user quipped: "if anyone knows barrack obama's finsta handle pls tell me,,, i want to see this man do the renegade."
Obama wouldn't be the first high-profile political figure with hidden social media habits.
Former FBI director James Comey, who was controversially fired by President Donald Trump in 2017, had both a secret Twitter and Instagram account, both of which were ultimately outed by journalist Ashley Feinberg in 2017.
References to TikTok challenges and Zoom birthday parties aside, the Obama video has a more important message to share.
He encourages young people to register and vote "as early as [they] can" in the upcoming presidential election on Nov. 3.
"Our democracy is a precious thing and it's up to all of us to protect it," says the former president, who just announced a release date for A Promised Land, the first volume of his upcoming memoirs.
"Upholding our responsibilities as citizens," Obama says in the PSA, "is perhaps the most powerful way for for all of us — Millennials, Boomers, Gen Z, Gen X — to join forces."