June 3rd, 2009
04:59 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama using Facebook, texting to push Muslim speech

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said administration officials are planning to use text messaging and social networking sites like Facebook to help engage the world.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said administration officials are planning to use text messaging and social networking sites like Facebook to help engage the world.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (CNN) - Some of the new media tools that helped propel President Obama to the White House are going to get their first test run on the international stage Thursday, when he delivers a long-awaited speech to the Muslim world.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said administration officials are planning to use text messaging and social networking sites like Facebook to help engage the world, especially young people, during and after the speech in Cairo.

Gibbs said the goal is to "not only draw people in to see the speech but to have them discuss it as well" to keep the conversation going long after the actual speech is delivered.

For example, the U.S. State Department is planning to send text messages about Obama's speech to users worldwide who sign up at http://www.america.gov. The texts will be sent out in four languages - Arabic, Persian, Urdu and English - and will enable users "to reply and give feedback" in real time, according to Gibbs.

The White House, which usually sends out transcripts of presidential speeches in English, will release the transcript in 13 different languages this time around.

Administration officials estimate that there are 20 million users of Facebook in the Arab countries and are setting up live chats on that site in order to get a conversation going online.


Filed under: Facebook • President Obama • Social Networking
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. adam

    give him a chance you guys are critizing him give him a chance. OBAMA for mankind. he is doing the right thing for this country and its change you can believe in. Stocks are soaring up and the economy is moving in the right direction. give it a year or two. Thank you Mr. President

    June 3, 2009 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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