Obama Does Reddit AMA: President Answers Questions and Crashes Site

Aug 29, 2012 5:31pm
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President Obama answering questions on Reddit. Image via Reddit.

If you had any doubt that the presidential candidates were trying to use every possible piece of technology and social media to communicate with voters, this should seal the deal. Today President Obama took to Reddit, a growing social media and forum site which has become a landfill of cat photos and animated GIFs, to participate in one of the site’s AMAs, or Ask Me Anything sessions. AMAs have become popular with other well-known individuals; users ask questions and the individual, well, answers.

The president began the question and answer session at around 4:00 p.m. ET, and within moments had received hundreds of questions. (You can see Obama’s answers here.) At points the site even went down, returning an error message when users tried to update or log on. Many wondered if it was really the president on Twitter and on the service itself. The Obama campaign confirmed it was in fact the president with a photo of him at his computer and a tweet.

The president fielded questions on internet freedom, the space program, the most difficult decision of his first term (the surge in Afghanistan) and the White House beer (“it’s tasty”), among other things.

“Im thrilled, obviously, but what makes this even more exciting is that President Obama is doing this AMA from Charlottesville, VA — the same place where 7 years ago, Steve Huffman and I started the company that’d create Reddit. (We were undergrads at UVA),” Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian told ABC News in a quick email.  

Reddit and Ohanian have also launched an “Internet 2012″ bus. The bus will make its way from Denver to Danville, Kentucky, with organizers talking to Americans, including students and startup founders, about how they use the Internet and about legislation around it.

After an hour, Obama had hundreds of comments and questions on Reddit. The site still appeared to be up… for at least some.  His closing comment: “If you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience — NOT BAD!”

 

ABC News’ Mary Bruce contributed reporting.

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