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July 7, 2011

Obama ‘tweets’ to questions on economy, war

First president to live tweet in 'Twitter Town Hall' event 

By CBR Staff Writer

US President Barack Obama became the first president to use Twitter as the platform to answer questions on economy and jobs asked by citizens across the country and world.

On 6 July, Obama posted his first "tweet" from the White House. He said, "I am going to make history here as the first president to live tweet."

Last week, White House officials had solicited questions on the micro-blogging site under the hash tag #AskObama.

The one-hour event was billed as ‘Twitter Town Hall’, and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey moderated the event.

Obama took questions on war, economy and jobs but answered verbally on a live webcast. His assistants summarised his lengthy answers and tweeted the replies.

Twitter said there were over 110,000 tweets with the #AskObama hashtag.

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Obama started using social media since 2007, when he used it in his campaign for the presidency.

In April this year, Obama launched his 2012 re-election campaign with social media as well with an exclusive website, and Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Then, Obama had told the 7.28 million followers of the @barackobama account on Twitter, "Today, we’re filing papers to launch our 2012 campaign."

"We’re doing this now because the politics we believe in does not start with expensive TV ads or extravaganzas, but with you — with people organising block-by-block, talking to neighbours, co-workers, and friends. And that kind of campaign takes time to build."

Obama hopes to use social media to start big discussions.

He had written on the website, "We’ll start by doing something unprecedented: coordinating millions of one-on-one conversations between supporters across every single state, reconnecting old friends, inspiring new ones to join the cause, and readying ourselves for next year’s fight."

Twitter has also made it into the headlines in the recent past for being used by NATO to identify air strike targets in Libya.

Two high-profile Twitter accounts were also hacked in the last week, one of which declared falsely that Obama had been shot dead.

A few months ago, Obama selected Twitter’s chief Dick Costolo to join his National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.

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