While the Ask Me Anything threads on Reddit are often hosted by interesting and important people, tonight the cast just got a little more star studded. President Barack Obama began his own AMA about an hour ago and has been fielding questions from members.
While a sceptical mind might immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s an impostor or a hoax, Obama was quick to provide proof. The official White House twitter account posted the message: “Hey, everyone: I’ll be taking your questions online today. Ask yours here:http://OFA.BO/gBof44 -bo.” A verification image was linked to as well:
While there were some issues with Reddit itself as the word began to seep out that the President himself was taking questions, it soon stabilised and some real gems cropped up in conversation. One of the earliest questions involved internet freedoms and Mr Obama’s plans to protect them. He answered by saying that: “Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too.” He promised to continue fighting to make sure the internet remains an “open forum for everybody,” especially from the perspective of those looking to make a business based around it.
He also touched on the space program and plans to increase funding. While he didn’t out and out say that more money was in the pipeline, he reaffirmed commitments to future missions in our solar system, including an interest in landing on “a asteroid” [sic], as a pre-cursor to a manned mission to Mars.
This moment sparked perhaps the highlight of the event, when it was pointed out by one of the commenters that it was, “an asteroid, Mr President.” This was swiftly followed up by another that chided, “don’t correct the President, neckbeard.”
The topics of conversation swing back and forth in tone, touching on Mr Obama’s toughest decision in his presidency being when he decided to “surge our forces in Afghanistan,” because knowing of the “heroes that have fallen,” weighed heavily on his mind. Going back the other way, he also noted that the official White House beer was excellently tasty and would be available soon.
KitGuru Says: While barely a fraction of comments were eventually answered, the session was an enlightening one, as well as a smart one. While it’s unlikely Mr Obama didn’t have some assistance during his AMA, it humanises him far more than he’s appeared before; especially in the eyes of internet denizens – something that will come in handy during election time. Not to mention all the press that this event will have drummed up.