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. Joe Fattal

    That man is brilliant. While President Obama's views are represented by the the people he chose to surround himself with he is going around the world portrayed himself as the peace maker. I guess two faces are better than one.

    June 3, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  2. Nancy

    The one thing that is going to be harder and harder is for countries to stop technology. The internet is a communication tool that is almost impossible to stop. The Obama adminstration understands that and is using them to the US advantage.

    The majority of Muslims are not our enemy, they have more influence over their right wingers than we do. If we can get a positive message out to them, they will mimimize the wingnuts.

    We already did "I'm the Big Dog" routine in the last administration, didn't go so well. Keep going President Obama, you make me proud.

    June 3, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  3. Lynn

    Amaazing move by the president...the twentieth century Republicans just can't compete with this man...though they probably will call him ekitist because he is aware that people in other countries speak different languages.

    June 3, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  4. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Peter E, your own example is your undoing. We didn't help Germany and Japan rebuild until AFTER we defeated them militarily. We also didn't just forgive them, but held war crimes trials and executed the worst of the lot. Forgiveness after victory is fine. Forgiveness before victory is surrender.

    June 3, 2009 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. No To Obama

    Dont do any apologizing for me or ask for my support for a muslim till they all apologize for the actions that their brothers and sisters have done to my country and the American people. Why should we support them at all, what have they done for America, NOTHING but given us grief.

    June 3, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    He used the Internet in the campaign. Why not use it to spread his message in the Muslim world. This is a smart man that has surrounded himself with smart and savvy people. We are blessed to have him now. The sad thing is that if he makes good the world or makes it a better place, haters will never admit that he should get any of the credit for it.

    June 3, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  7. Simmy

    I am impressed beyond words with this brilliant man.....No, I don't worship him.....I recognize the gift with which he is mantled.....I say to those who said that no shoes would be thrown at THAT ONE - so true....But it's so sad that he is more honored aboard than by many in his own country......If history is true, that is a good thing.....Anticipation...Ps. 91...........

    June 3, 2009 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  8. stormerF

    apologize NOT. As a country we have done more for freedom than all the other nations put together....Why does not Obama understand,Muslims hate Americans and look at us as Infidels.Maybe Obama does not know what an Infidel is??..If Obama wants cheaper oil and more he needs to lift his suspension on off shore drilling...Why does Obama think its OK for Iran to have Nuclear Energy but not America??

    June 3, 2009 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  9. Proud DHS radical

    I'd like for us to engage Mecca with a few B-61's or W88's

    June 3, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  10. Joanna

    For those that oppose better relations with the Muslim world, i ask you do you support "enhanced interrogation" on your right wing extremist domestic terrorist? Should we go after All Christian extremists preemptively to keep Americans safe? I really am enjoying that things are coming full circle. Hopefully the GOP can wise up and see just what kind of damage they have cause and apparently continue to do. Like the DR. Tiller murder by an American terrorist.

    June 3, 2009 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. Peter

    This is by far beyond what we have needed. By using the internet, Mr. Obama has opened up politics to many young or busy people. He is trying to outreach his message to all who are willing to listen, and believe me we are all listening. Thank you President Obama, make this "issue" go away, we are being anti-semitist towards muslims as the nazis treated jews....Not as extreme of course, but I do believe we cannot tolerate the muslim religion and its' traditions, just like in Germany during the 1930's-1940's.

    June 3, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  12. annie for Palin

    A speech to the muslim radicals while he insults the USA and Christianity.

    June 3, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Loup Garou 782

    Kelby in Houston, Tx:

    I'm not interested in how anyry you get over something I have said about your great leader(obama). I don't care if you want to fall down and kiss his feet, it's your choice. He is not now and never will be mine. And I certanily did not seek, need or want your pitty. I am a proud caucasian, natural born American citizen and U>S>Marine veteran of WWII. It won't make much difference to me what he does to you people, I don't have the time left to care.

    June 3, 2009 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  14. history repeats

    @ray ray

    "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!

    hes talking about percentage points you right-wing nitwit

    June 3, 2009 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  15. history repeats

    @ Loup Garou 782

    hahahahahahahahha....o wait are you serious? yea intelligent people sit around trying to figure out how to turn dummies like you into muslims....my god do you people know how to think?

    June 3, 2009 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Sara

    Grace, being on Facebook and knowing how to text does not make the president so FAR advanced.
    A child can do that.

    June 3, 2009 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  17. Expat American

    Lee, Detroit, Michigan June 3rd, 2009 5:38 pm ET
    Barrack Hussein Obama is pushing his Muslim speech because he is still a Muslim.
    You are a fool. Even if President Obama were a Muslim, why would that matter? Oh right, all Muslims are the same, according to your limited global perspective. Do you even have a passport? 'The Muslims' aren't going to attack your Dairy Queen, so you can sleep safe tonight.

    For arguments sake, I'd take an educated accomplished Muslim-American President over a redneck uneducated Republican slack jaw cretin like yourself any day.

    June 3, 2009 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  18. zachary snyder

    the us government is already failing and i don't think Obama wants to make a change, just put a whole bunch of it in his pocket

    June 3, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. Sayer

    Seriously you racist and retarded GOPers need to stop shooting us in the face.

    June 3, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  20. pac

    Considering there have only been 44 Presidents… HOW exactly to you quantify Carter is "100 times better…."??
    LMAO – liberal mental disorder strikes again!

    Ray Ray! I like summers 100 times more than winters, yet there are only four seasons. much difficult to understand for conservatives is?

    June 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. madmd

    I hope Obama knows what he is dealing with? Muslim is a volaitile world, they can be pacific in one breath and pure Jihad , the next.
    They literally breathe hot and cold in the same breath. The moderates leave the Islamic nets and then send money back to promote more fundamentalisation, Guilt trip. Their religion calls for destruction of infidels. There is need for a modern leader in Islam who will modernize islam , interpret it to allow equal rights for women and tolerance for non muslims. sans that all over south asia , middle east and now europe muslims are reverting in their philosphy to the mediveal times. Head scarves were not seen in the 70s , 80s but now east or west head scarves are back. I was told by a muslim friend ,there only guide is The quaran , and the trouble is now the terrorists are interpreting the quaran for the poor and underdeveloped.

    June 3, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  22. marc47

    First, I'd just like to correct a bit of a comment made by a previous blogger (w.l. jones) who wrote: "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". Unless I'm historically mistaken, math, writing and much of civilization came from the early Greeks like Plato, Aristotle and so on w.I jones and not the Middle East. It was only after many years that this knowledge was passed to Western Civilization via Rome after it had been taken from the Middle Eastern countries.

    June 3, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  23. Unhappy Dem

    He is a glimmer man, all smoke and mirrors, no substance

    June 3, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. S. in Florida

    ray ray wrote: "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."
    Are you writing about Muslim fundalmentalists or pro-life people in front of an abortion clinic? lol

    June 3, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  25. fishy fish

    Right wing bigots at work. Whats new!

    June 3, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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