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

Obama using Facebook, texting to push Muslim speech

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/11/art.text.gi.jpg caption="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. w.l. jones

    We owe our mind and soul to all the people of the Middle East ,just think where would we be without reading, writing, math and civilization if we had not borrow it from them. Dont you think it time to say thank you and mean it.

    June 3, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  2. Grace

    President Obama is "THEE MAN". He's got his hands on the pulse of everything technical. Our President is so FAR ahead of the GOP it's not even funny. The GOP can't compete with our President. He's too smart, too business savvy and highly competent on all levels. Every time they think they've out-smarted him with their juvenile theatrics, BAM...he comes back at them even harder with a bullseye shot!

    I'm so glad we have a President who is so advanced, it puts America back on the map!!

    June 3, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  3. Brian in AZ

    I have to stop and think when I imagine famous people with staffs and publicists, etc. being on facebook. Can you just imagine the committee meeting to determine "what's on Obama's mind?"

    Anyway, I think it's interesting that all Obama has to do is do a few events integrating new tech and carry a blackberry and he's suddenly a hip president–it's not like his policies are more teen friendly (remember his online town hall meeting where he laughed at the most asked youngster question: legalizing pot).

    I don't know if that's a sign he's not REALLY all that hip or if it's a sign politicians are usually so UNHIP it takes very little to make them seem like the fourth Jonas Brother.

    June 3, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  4. Peter E

    For those who think bombing and killing our enemies are the solutions, you really aren't seeing the big picture. It is because the enemy bombed and killed us that we united and went after the evil doers. Why do we think us using the same indiscriminate methods we criticize the terrorists for will work for us, it sure doesn't work for our enemies!
    Also a history lesson: in WWI we killed and humiliated the Germans. In less than three decades afterwards they returned, vengeful and angry. We killed them again in WWII, BUT instead of humiliating them we went and built their country, their infrastructure, their economy back up. We worked with them, treated them as our allies despite all the crimes they committed during WWII. Today, as a result, they are one of our closest ally, both politically and economically. Japan, our other mortal enemy from that war is also now our ally. Winning hearts and minds is not foolish! It is the best way to win lasting peace!

    June 3, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  5. Kevin B

    Mr Obama has already run circles around the GWB middle east policies and has not had any shoes thrown at him.

    The difference between a leader that worked to gain the support of americans and an unprepared affirmative action imposter president that had an election handed to him in 2000 is obvious.

    The leader works his tail off for all people and the imposter worked for his big business buddies and his narrow minded consitiuents.

    June 3, 2009 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  6. President Obama - finally a true leader

    Another great job and seized opportunity President Obama!

    If we reach out to the Muslim world and show we are not the hateful, war-mongering bullies of the past Presidency – we will be able to neutralize the hate the Muslim radicals use to keep their people stirred up.

    Being a good and decent human being that exudes honor, decency and integrity will go a very long way in improving Muslim country relations and reducing recruitment lies by the radicals.

    Once again – President Obama shows outstanding foresight and leadership. Anyone else noticed that America is on a strong path to recovery, has a new place of trust on the world stage, and major progress is being achieved in alternative energy programs and other critical issues to the survival and prosperity of America?

    – and ALL of it with not one Republican vote, support, or idea – guess all their negativty only destroyed them and America moved on and SUCCEEDED. Come 2010 – it's time to get rid of more of the do-nothings who are useless to America's future.

    June 3, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  7. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    I got a great idea...Pres. Obama sends out a special text messages in Arabic to all mosques in the mid-East. Attached to the text woufdl be a virus. Not a computer virus, but a real live kill-you-in-two-minutes virus.

    An Arabic textr from Obama would be all the rage that all terrorist would want read it...ya get where I'm goin' with this?

    Don't bomb 'em, infect 'em. Or is that too harsh for the folks who have sworn to destroy western civilization?

    June 3, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  8. Dawn in Pa

    Some more rhetoric coming from the right wingnuts.... Remember shoes? The polls still has Obama favorable in the United States, and higher in the world. Each and every President going all the way back to the late 60's has been trying to bring peace to the Middle East.

    I kind a remember Yasser Arafat in his younger days he reminded me of Ringo Starr...

    Jimmy Carter made some progress within the Middle East, so did Reagan, and Clinton, but Bush, he had shoes thrown at him. Bush went into Iraq without any provocation, Bush went into Syria without provocation. If his Presidency went any longer, we would have been at war with the whole Middle East...

    June 3, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  9. ray ray

    Lacrossmom writes,

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

    Obviously you're not a REAL Christian as you suggest. God is the leader who deserves your undying support. Everyone else (including Obama) is a fallible person deserving no greater respect than your local convenience store clerk, Starbucks barista, or garbage guy.

    Get a grip on your emotions, woman!

    June 3, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  10. Dave

    I'll tell you one thing.. Obama has got more guts than any of you paranoid republicans – he's willing to speak one on one with any leader...even the leader of Iran. I sure as he** wouldn't. - it's either very brave or very foolish, one of the two.... even with the secret service agents..

    In my opinion... it shows he has no fear. It shows he will do whatever he has to do to get the job done. So if all you republicans think that the only way you can show you are big and tough to the rest of the world is to drop bombs... that's not brave – that's cowardice. What Obama is doing takes far more courage, and it's also a very legitimate path towards peace....

    or i guess you would prefer the republican plan...
    We tried your way for the last 8 years......i think we've learned.. bombing is not generally constructive to the peace process. =)

    good luck Obama.

    June 3, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  11. lorelei

    Hey those of you that still want to live in the dark ages, there's a place called Alaska you might want to move to. You could secure your own border, let those in (if they meet your requirements) and live happily ever after . Meanwhile, those of us who support our current president and the hard work he is doing can move forward. GO OBAMA!!!!!

    June 3, 2009 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  12. Jon in CA

    Kevin B,

    You write, "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."

    Have you ever considered the correlation between liberals and jihadists, Kev?

    – Code Pink stalked the Bush Administration over the War
    – Berkely, CA kicked out Military Recruiters from their town
    – Liberals assailed President Bush the last 4+ years over Iraq
    – Liberals would rather Saddam Hussein was alive in Power if it meant Bush wasn't President.

    Oh and by the way... did you hear about the religious zealot (Muslim convert) who gunned down 2 men standing outside a recruiting station?

    That probably didn't bother you nearly as much as the Kansas City issue, eh?

    June 3, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  13. hisham el minawi

    President Obama
    welcome to Cairo, Egyptians are waiting for your speech ,we all have great hopes. we wish you don't let us down , you really have a great place in our hearts.we hope you open new ties with Egypt,the Heart of the Arab and Islamic world.
    We hope that you can perform a good face lift for america for the Arab World to see and like.
    DR.Hisham El Minawi
    Assitant Professor of Plastic Surgery
    Cairo university

    June 3, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. Denise

    Muslim's the world over must be glad to have a POTUS that talks to them instead of talking down to them. Yo can get more with honey, people. It won't happen over nite, it will take time, the damage is great. I think Obama should be commended for the attempt at good will.

    June 3, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. realistic obama supporter

    Lee stated:

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


    Phew... I was HOPING there were still a few true neocons out there who would show us the depths of their stupidity.. You know, such as only reading the HEADLINE of the story before responding...

    June 3, 2009 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  16. Dave

    ray ray said..

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


    ray... are you really so slow that you think that statement made sense?.. It wouldn't matter if the only 2 presidents in history were Bush and Obama... you could still say one is '100 times better'..

    ray ray... you prove to me the necessity of education reform

    June 3, 2009 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  17. HAHA

    Lee from Detroit Michigan, I think you need to check your tin foil hat, I believe it is coming loose...

    June 3, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Amateur Hour

    HAHAHA Change is coming to the Middle East.....Is going to bankrupt them as well. Thats about all the treasury has left is change so guess he didnt totally lie about "Hope" and "Change"

    June 3, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  19. HAHA

    Does anyone else notice that the only people that think Obama is the messiah are the right wing nutcases? hmmmm

    June 3, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  20. ugo

    @ ray ray

    People like u are the reason why rebulicans lost so badly. I dont consider my self a Democrate, but the kind of ridiculous ideas and conspiracies republicans have these days just makes me want to throw up again and again.

    u'd better off sit back silently and not support Obama, rather that try to come up with senseless ideas against him that makes me wanna laugh at u!!!

    June 3, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  21. ugo

    @ Phil

    the US is not apologising to no-one and we wont. Dont twist things here.

    June 3, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Ozella

    I love how President Obama uses internet technology to put his spin on his own policies. It leaves very little room from media screw ups and spin masters' skews.

    June 3, 2009 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  23. Terry, from Africa

    What do these critics think? What will Obama gain by intentionally misleading the Americans? Instead he has everything to loose as History will hunt him. I think every single thing he does he mean well for the American people and instead, all Americans; dems or the GOPs should tender him their support or judge with some advisory and not slamming like the way some of you do. God!! some of you suck. Its not even a question of what is doing is clued or not but whose mess is he clearing? Who could have done better? He is the only and only man for that. Please let him work.

    June 3, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  24. arithmetic is liberal

    ray ray June 3rd, 2009 5:43 pm ET

    @ 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!

    Geez, ray ray. Where do I begin with that one?

    How about a proverb:

    "Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."

    June 3, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  25. annie s

    You know what, Lee from Detroit and the rest of the bigots posting here, I am soooo tired of Barack the Muslim rhetoric. He is NOt a Muslim, but even if he was, he would have had my vote. Muslims are not our enemy, radical fundamental Islamists are. Barack Obama is brilliant, engaged and forward thinking and understands that hate and bullying have made things worse, not better. I am proud to have him represent the United States of America.

    June 3, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
1 2 3 4