Obama takes to Reddit to talk sports, space and nearly “breaks the Internet”
Obama created a frenzy online when he surprised people by answering questions on Reddit.
By EMILY DERUY
President Obama surprised Internet users on Wednesday afternoon when he took a break from campaigning in Charlottesville, Virginia to take questions on Reddit.
He launched an “Ask Me Anything (AMA)” thread and took crowd-sourced questions from posters to the popular site around 4:30 pm EDT.
Reddit moderators confirmed the poster was, in fact, Obama, and the president confirmed it by posting a photo and tweeting on his verified account.
The site allows people to ask questions that are then voted up or down by other users.
Word of Obama’s Reddit thread spread quickly and many of those trying to access the site were met with a message that traffic was unusually heavy.
The questions that did make it onto the thread ranged from serious — “Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?” — to funny — “Do you intend to release the White House Honey Ale recipe as requested in this petition? If not, why do you hate freedom?”
And Obama seemed to take them all in stride, answering questions on everything from small businesses to student loans.
“Jordan — I’m a Bulls guy,” wrote Obama to one poster about his favorite sports team, the Chicago Bulls.
“Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too,” he also posted. “We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those [who] want to start a business.”
Questions about the future of the country’s space program were rapidly voted up, perhaps triggered by the recent passing of Neil Armstrong.
“[E]ven as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight,” Obama wrote.
This is just the latest effort by the Obama administration to connect with voters through social media. The president has already hosted Twitter town halls and taken questions on Facebook.