A social media first occurred this evening when President Barack Obama held a Google+ Hangout to take live questions from five Americans and a few people who were taped beforehand, including a homeless veteran and an Occupy protester.
He answered questions about the economy, job creation, small business, and the use of drones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama referenced a New York Times story on the use of drones, which he called “overwritten,” and said that the use of drones had not resulted in an unusual number of civilian casualties. Asked about the anti-piracy legislation that set the Internet on fire, Obama said, ”When SOPA came up on the hill, we expressed some concerns about the way the legislation had been written.”
Almost as fascinating as the Hangout itself was the discussion of the Hangout on Twitter.
Many wondered who chose which questions were posed to the president from the more than 130,000 submissions. Alex Howard, who covers “open government” for O’Reilly Media, said Steve Grove, head of community partnerships at Google+, picked the questions.
Was it a campaign stunt, an ad for Google, a great opportunity for citizens to connect with the president, or all of the above?