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. Jimmy the Greek

    Obama be texting to everyone: i *heart symbol* Islam

    That'll convince those jihadists that Obama means business!

    June 3, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. gerry

    No wonder Al Queda issued threats. They feel threatened by this Obama outreach and they're right to feel that way.

    Change is coming to the Middle East.

    Thank you Mr. President.

    June 3, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  3. JT

    @Jimmy – Weak...

    June 3, 2009 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  4. Phil

    I'm still trying to figure out why the U.S. is apologizing to the Middle East and extending an olive branch. Shouldn't they be the ones doing that?

    June 3, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  5. Randolph Carter

    I'm waiting for Doug NJ to somehow relate this to what bad drivers liberals are. Have a nice day!

    June 3, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  6. Hammer

    And our news media assured everyone that Obama was not Muslim. Oh well, all of the rest of their stories were lies also!

    June 3, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Loup Garou 782

    @gerry:

    You got it all wrong gerry, you have not been paying attention. This obama guy is telling the rest of the world that America could be seen as muslim. If you are not now one you soon will be. There are a few of us who will resist his effort to turn this into a muslim mecca, hide and watch.

    June 3, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  8. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    I wouldn't care if President Obama was a muslim, hindu, zoraster, hari krishna, he is working his behind off for this country and the people unlike bush. Notice how the world is paying attention and actually showing a desire to listen to the USA for a change?

    Jimmy the Greek – what would you have him do, invade them??? That's all you rethugs know how to do. Funny, how's that working out for you guys? Look up the word diplomacy.

    June 3, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. Buddy Gilmour

    To Jimmy the Greek: No, the hard-core Jihadists won't be swayed. But Islamists who are considering Jihadism can be swayed, and by reaching out with a message of conciliation Obama can dry up support for Jihadists in the short term and limit their numbers in the long term. Its exactly the right thing to do. There will always be Islamists who see violence as the best means to advance their cause. Just like in our nation there will always be folks who will kill, in the name of Christ, an abortion doctor or some other heretic who offends them. Its not a reflection on Christians or Christianity, but on the evil that all men are capable of.

    June 3, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  10. ray ray

    Glad to see we're returning to the policy of appeasement that worked SO well for Bill Clinton! (eyes rolling)

    You liberals are an echo-chamber of senseless support of the WORST president since Jimmy Carter.

    The desire to kill Jews and Americans is so great by Islamic extremist that NO soaring American rhetoric will quell the thirst for death these soon-to-be martyrs feel.

    Someone who would strap on explosives and seek to kill innocent women & children in malls do not deserve liberal sympathy... they deserve the chance to enjoy martyrdom from the business end of a laser-guided smart-bomb.

    Kneel and worship at the feet of your messiah, and believe he is keeping you safe. I can ASSURE you the Israeli people and right-minded individuals do not buy this charlatan's exercise into narcissism.

    June 3, 2009 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  11. M

    This text was in response to the hateful comments in another ticker, but it is appropiate in this site as well.
    ****************************************************************************

    Fearful hate mongers,

    You may not agree with the traditions and conditions that people live under in some of these countries, particularly women, but the US can't not just dive in and start bombing everyone in an effort to have them conform to what Americans define as democracy...don't be so naive. That would be very dangerous for the whole world. People who live in these areas of the world must work to change things for themselves as well.

    Let us not forget, America didn't get it right initially either (i.e., slavery, limited rights for women, the genocide of Native Americans,etc), and judging by some of the comments in this posting, America still has a long way to go...we can disagree without being so mean and dogmatic in our approaches.

    June 3, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Rob

    Yeah! Peace and happiness to everyone! The Great Annointed One, the Prophet Obama is twitting and Facebooking. And gosh golling darn gee wiz, he's gonna make everyone love everyone.

    So during this BIG, ENORMOUS, LIFE CHANGING, TIDE TURNING speech that his holiness will give, how many times is he gonna apologize for America doing that mean, terrible thing and defending herself before he came to the throne....I mean took office? He's already said he thinks Iran should be able to have nuclear power (which oddly enough he and his fellow Dems won't let the US have – or develop more), and yet he's dim-witted enough to believe that Iran will only use it for nuclear power and not weapons.

    So tell me, when Israel, New York, DC, and/or LA are radioactive slag heaps thanks to fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, all you koolaid drinkers gonna finally believe that Obama wasn't good for America? I ain't holding my breath on that one.

    June 3, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter

    RayRay wrote:
    Glad to see we're returning to the policy of appeasement that worked SO well for Bill Clinton! (eyes rolling)

    So RayRay how'd that whole war policy work out for your messiah George W. Bush? Not so good, huh? Mission accomplished! Have a nice day! :)

    June 3, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Nero

    Ray Ray...I wonder why you use that name. I think it has something to do with your ignorance. To call President Obama the worst President since Carter is the most stupid remark I have read or heard in over 50 years. Are you a fool or simply foolish?

    Every post you make has a deep down hatred within each and I wonder why CNN allow your garbage ever day. Get a grip and get out of your trailer or Karl Rove docrinated mentality.

    President Carter is 100 times better than your beloved GWB and placing GWB and Obama in the same statement proves you are as dumb as a door nail.

    June 3, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Adam, Plano, TX

    @ Jay Jay:

    The worst president since Jimmy Carter(actually, he's worse than Jimmy) is, and likely always will be, GWB. You just can't top that level of incompetence.

    June 3, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  16. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Loup Garou 782: This obama guy is telling the rest of the world that America could be seen as muslim. If you are not now one you soon will be. There are a few of us who will resist his effort to turn this into a muslim mecca,
    ******************************************
    What an ignorant and baseless statement. Do you have any proof? What specific actions has Obama taken to "turn this into a muslim mecca"? What would cause you to believe in something like that?
    Or is this jus a baseless statement? It makes me so sad to read comments like yours. Your statement is an attempt to cause people to fear Obama, as if he is going to take away our freedom of religion.

    Sir, you have my pity.

    June 3, 2009 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  17. Amanda from Phoenix

    I am Proud to be an American! I got a president who is eager to restore the American image. I bet no one would through a shoe at him.

    June 3, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. The Broker.

    All Terrorists are welcome in the Muslim World.
    Borack Obama is a Muslim.

    June 3, 2009 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Independent John

    The majority of the Muslim world are not extremists, and Obama deserves a chance to separate those who are peaceful from those who are violent. LET HIM TRY!!

    June 3, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  20. Lee, Detroit, Michigan

    Barrack Hussein Obama is pushing his Muslim speech because he is still a Muslim.

    His true identity is coming out now that he has been elected....he fooled the majority of his voters by side-stepping the issue during the Presidential election.

    He is destroying our Great Country from within. I hope you people that voted for him and believed all his lies during the election "drank the kool-aid" are happy now.

    June 3, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  21. LacrosseMom

    @ ray ray.......... As a Christian I am deeply offended by you, a GOPer, who is likely a Christian, mocking us, Obama supporters!

    President Obama is no messiah, sir! Stop with the vile attacks its old and believe me wont win you any elections!

    I am proud of our president! Kudos President Obama!

    @ Jimmy the Greek........ "heart symbol" ??? What did YOU think of BUSH when he not only....... bowed....... but KISSED THE SAUDI KING & PRINCES??? WHAT DID YOU THINK WHEN BUSH WALKED AROUND HOLDING HANDS WITH THE SAUDI KING & PRINCES???

    June 3, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  22. big papa

    I am truly grateful to have such a brilliant, in-touch Commander-in-Chief...

    ...the conservative racists have a right to be jealous of him...

    ...since he continuously shows them for what they are...

    ...ignorant, dishonest, racist, player-haters...

    ...with NO political future in this great nation...

    ...the YOUTH will see to that!

    June 3, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  23. ray ray

    @ Nero the genius says,

    "President Carter is 100 times better than your beloved GWB and placing GWB and Obama in the same statement proves you are as dumb as a door nail."

    ------

    Considering there have only been 44 Presidents... HOW exactly to you quantify Carter is "100 times better...."??

    LMAO – liberal mental disorder strikes again!

    June 3, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  24. Kevin B

    The right wing of the GOP and Al Qeada want to see Mr Obama and the USA fail and will do anything to ensure the said failure.

    The similarities are uncanny:
    Both use religious dogma to justify anti-intellectual cowardly tactics.
    Both would like to keep women in subservient roles.
    Both preach a return to the "greatness and glory" of the past.

    One religious zeolot commited a murder in Little Rock and the other comitted a murder in Kansas City in the past week based on twisted ideology.

    June 3, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  25. Claudia in Houson

    This is something that should have been done many presidents ago.

    June 3, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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