Barack Obama answers Reddit users questions
President of the United States Barack Obama went online last night to directly face questions from users of Reddit. He answered queries on a number of subjects as the race for election to the White House heats up, discussing a mixture of serious issues and more lighthearted topics. This is the latest tool in the presidential race, which is increasingly moving online.
The 44th President of The United States posted a short message that sent the internet into meltdown: "Hi, I'm Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything. I'll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET."
The topic started by the President attracted over 22,000 responses, with a wide range of questions that only the internet could provide. While Obama could never have responded to everything he was asked, he was able to cover a wide range of topics from the war in Afghanistan, space exploration and the economy to his favourite basketball player (Michael Jordan).
When questioned as to the most difficult moment of his presidency since his inauguration in 2009, he talked about sending troops to Afghanistan: "Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you... knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget."
President Obama hails technology and the internet for empowering democracy
President Obama closed his question and answer session by calling discussion sites such as Reddit "an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy". This is not the first time Barack Obama has hailed the power of the internet, previously speaking out in support of Google, Twitter and Facebook.
The response from users of Reddit was almost universally positive, with many comments praising Obama for taking the time to conduct such a session. A user called Tieranosaur said "As a Canadian, I've never wanted to be American until now - solely so I could vote for him in November.", while another remarked "Coolest president ever."
Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword said "This just shows the power of the internet in modern day society. The internet is the latest and biggest battleground on which elections will be fought, something that Barack Obama is clearly very aware of".