Today’s presidential inauguration signalled many things, most importantly the transition of power from Donald Trump to incoming president Joe Biden. But it also meant the White House website got a makeover too. Along with the webpage getting dark mode, eagle-eyed viewers were quick to spot a hidden message buried in the new whitehouse.gov code.
The White House website’s hidden Easter egg
Following the official swearing-in of President Biden, the official White House website was switched over to reflect the new administration.
On the surface level, the website seems pretty normal. It advertises links to follow the White House’s social accounts and introduces the Biden administration and a rundown of presidential history.
But don’t be fooled, there’s a neat hidden message here.
Protocol was one of the first to notice the easter egg hidden in the White House’s HTML code. The message says:
“If you’re reading this, we need your help building back better.”
It’s followed by a link to the job application page for the U.S. Digital Service, which is the White House’s elite internal tech team.
The U.S. Digital Service employs a wide variety of staff with different backgrounds. Employees typically work for the organisation on ‘tours‘ of anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. This is so the team can continue to bring in new perspectives.
How to find the secret message
I’m no hacker but I do love some Mr. Robot so I am proud of myself for finding this message with no assistance. But in truth, it isn’t all that difficult.
If you would like a tutorial of how to find the hidden message for yourself, here’s how to do it.
First, visit whitehouse.gov. Then right-click on the page and select ‘View Page Source‘.
This will take you to the HTML code for the page and you can view the hidden message – or ctrl+F search for it. It’s not a groundbreaking White House secret or anything but it is a cool little easter egg from the team.
The very concerning SolarWinds breach struck the U.S. recently so the best and brightest coders are needed in the White House right now. If you found the hidden code (without help), maybe you should consider applying!