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Tourists visiting the White House in Washington D.C. are now allowed to snap photos during public tours, as First Lady Michelle Obama announced in footage posted to her Instagram account.
On the video, she held up an official White House sign that read "No photos or social media allowed," and said, "If you've been on a White House tour you may have seen this sign." She then declared "Not anymore!" and enthusiastically ripped it to pieces.
A White House news release followed soon after, saying "guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime. Visitors are also encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag #WhiteHouseTour."
Permitted items, according to the release are "phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches."
On the list of prohibited items are "video cameras, including any action camcorders, cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods, monopods, and camera sticks."
Flash photography and livestreaming are also forbidden, and photography "may not interfere with the enjoyment of other guests on the tour."
The White House told the Associated Press that the ban, which was in place for more than 40 years, was abolished because current camera technology allows for high-quality photos to be taken using less light. Fragile pigments used in the many pieces of artwork hanging in the Presidential mansion can be damaged by strong light.
Here is First Lady Obama's Instagram announcement:
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