President Barack Obama logged into the social media website Reddit on Wednesday to participate in an “I am… ask me anything” (IAmA) thread.
The thread quickly filled with questions. There were over 500 comments in less than 15 minutes and it now has thousands. Reddit moderators and the Obama campaign have confirmed the authenticity of the thread.
“Hey, everyone: I’ll be taking your questions online today. Ask yours here,” the President tweeted.
“Are you considering increasing funds to the space program?” one user asked.
“Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration,” Obama replied. “The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level – so even 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.”
Though many Reddit users praised the President’s encouraging response, others noted that he hadn’t actually answered the question. “He may be President but he’s still a politician,” one user quipped.
Obama also vowed to “make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody” and decried the influence of money in politics.
All of the President’s responses on Reddit can be read here. Reddit has received a flood of traffic due to Obama’s thread, making it difficult for some people to access the website.
[Obama on Reddit courtesy of Obama for America – California]