President Obama Does Reddit AMA; Gives Weak Politician's Answer About Internet Freedom

from the that's-not-how-you-do-it dept

The ritualistic "Reddit AMA" has become an important right of passage for lots of interesting people (both famous and not-so-famous). But, there's a pretty clear set of guidelines for how to do one right -- and the first step is to sound like you're a human. That's often difficult for the rich and famous -- and it's doubly true of politicians. Rep. Jared Polis, for example, did a great Reddit AMA. Today, of course, the big news is that President Obama is doing a Reddit AMA -- obviously, the first time that a sitting President (or any US President, I would imagine) has done one. The site has had trouble staying up, but one of the first questions that President Obama chose to answer was about internet freedom, asking "Is Internet Freedom an issue you'd push to add to the Democratic Party's 2012 platform?" The President's answer was quite... political.
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
And while there was originally a there/their typo in the comment (which has since been fixed), the problem with this statement is that it doesn't seem "human." It's a politician's answer, rather than any real commitment. This isn't a surprise, it's just a disappointment. This was a chance to show a real commitment to internet freedom, but instead the answer comes across as wishy-washy. Seems like a missed opportunity.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Geeker (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Of course, where he answers We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody, in his language open forum will mean absolutely everything we type, say, watch, listen or look at online will be monitored and logged, whenever and however they feel like it, sans warrant.

     

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    Jeff (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    Politicians

    ...will say anything to get elected. They pander to whomever will give them the most votes - and in this highly polarized environment, they don't cant risk offending anybody (their big donors); therefore to be as inoffensive as possible, they give inoffensive statements and avoid taking a stand on anything. They have no spine, no mind, and no soul (they sold it to get elected). Maybe I'm a little pissed, but I hold *all* politicians in extreme contempt.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    He has to be very careful with what he or who is posting for him is saying. Just think of how fast you picked up that quote and ran with it for this story (although I completely agree with your article / premise). I have a fear the entire AMA will be much of the same - the Bull's and Jordan comment.

     

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    ASTROBOI, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Sorta like....

    "Your call is VERY important to us. Please stay on the line"

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

      Re: Sorta like....

      "Your call is VERY important to us. Please stay on the line"

      And "we value your input".

      I think they all read the same bs-artistry book.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:26pm

      Re: Sorta like....

      I'm thinking Mike should take up ticket scalping. The only thing I got was a dead reddit guy...

       

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      Shmerl, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

      Re: Sorta like....

      Don't forget that it's always followed by "your call may be monitored for quality purposes" ;)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    (no, I'm not serious)

    B...b...but he has a Reddit account and didn't threaten to ban porn!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Also, I doubt the AMA will last very long. Reddit's servers are being raped right now. He won't be able to answer questions as the world tunes in.

     

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      LDoBe (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

      Re:

      Well, we can abort the AMA, as long as the servers are being "legitimately" raped.

      Sorry... I'm just not satisfied kicking the shit out of Todd Aiken yet

       

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    Beech, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    So far, all I've seen is the same political speak. There's only one or two statements I've seen that seem like an actual answer.

    At least he acknowledged that all the money going into politics is non-ideal. Too bad it seems like he doesn't want to go anywhere near far enough (probably because he wants all those contribution checks, as do all his buds in congress)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Masnick wanted Obama to say "I promise I'll let you continue to rip off movies, music, games and ebooks."

    Oh well. You can't win em all, Mike.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

    Whelp he answered like 9-11 questions and he's out.

     

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    droozilla (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    To use his own quote. "He's a jackass."

    I'm sure the site being down for most is completely legitimate... I'm sure every question came from a real person, too, and the answers were not scripted in any way, shape, or form. AMAs are totally legitimate!

     

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    Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    So now we have two main "choices" for president:

    1. Elect Obamma and continue the bullshit and wishiwashiness of his administration we know now as not caring one micron about Internet freedom and net nuetrality.

    2. Elect Romney and we have the same exact thing with the added "bonus" of "pornography" filters forced to be put on all new computers.

     

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      Jay (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

      Re:

      Vote Gary Johnson who will not even try to get money out of politics.

      Or Jill Stein who is quite progressive but has no shot in hell.

      Or vote Rocky Anderson who's great but STILL can't take away 270 to win without a mad blitz of cash.

      *sigh*

       

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      ld, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

      Re:

      Except that there is zero chance of getting "pornography filters" or any other such narrowly focused attempts at violating freedom of speech through Congress, let alone past the Supreme Court. Congress only passes hugely vague and sweeping legislation, they might censor the whole web through some lame and vague national security legislation but they're not going to target single things with clear cut rules that they can't dodge at election time. Why do you think Obama had to guilt, belittle, and corner them publicly into doing even the lame health care legislation they did? They knew it would cost them votes or election cash or both, and it clearly did.

       

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        Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

        Re: Re:

        Both campaigns are backed by the very people trying to repress net nuetrality and our Internet freedoms....think about it for a moment.

        Now maybe you haven't figured it out but unused the quotation marks in my punctuation for a reason. I meant " 'Pornography' filters" because I know from personal experience what the default settings were. They filter out medical diagrams where one wouldn't even know how they could think a teenager could masterbate too...unless they were just that desperate.

        The point I have is we're doomed no matter whom we vote for.

        You're just mad because I called out Obama.

         

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        quawonk, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 4:10am

        Re: Re:

        "Except that there is zero chance of getting "pornography filters" or any other such narrowly focused attempts at violating freedom of speech through Congress, let alone past the Supreme Court."

        1. You have too much faith in the system.

        2. They would probably just get computer companies, Microsoft, Apple, Gateway, Dell, etc. (not sure if it's hardware or software based) to install the filters. That way the government isn't doing the censoring, it's someone else and so the government isn't doing anything wrong...

        It's the way they weaseled around the First Amendment by appointing the FCC to censor TV and radio. They don't like the constitution one bit and so they come up with creative ways to get around it.

        If they respected it, they wouldn't appoint or allow anyone to censor and would tell these busybodies to change the channel or turn off the TV, or the porno site, etc.

        Let's not kid ourselves. The moral majority (mostly old people) would be in favor of banning porn. They've always been in favor of censorship.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    His AMA went on for an hour and he answered 10 questions - all with very carefully worded politician-speak.

    List of answers

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    If you didn't like that, you will like the Republicans platform statement even less.

     

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      Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:03pm

      Re:

      I take it you creep around watching Internet porn then...neither side cares one iota about net nuetrality and the internet's theme of free and open communication and sharing of ideas.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Its a shame neither side cares it would win them the election probably.

     

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    letherial (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:19pm

    one party wants to open it up so the *aa can look and make sure those terrorist pirates are not downloading the latest stupid Hollywood movie or forced down your throat song; the other wants to open it up for corporate control minus the porn, errr and anything else unchristian.

    Neither choice is very good, but i suppose the lesser of two evils is obama, i can always VPN my way around recording industry, wont be able to do much once my ISP decides i dont pay enough to have access to 90% of the internet.

     

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      Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      Problem is, "the lesser of two evils" clause got us SOPA and PIPA....oh and a totally fucked over budget.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm voting for Romney, if only so that future presidents won't think they can sell out the country to special interests, throw anyone they dislike in jail without a warrant or trial (or just have them assassinated by a drone), and then get reelected despite all they've done.

        We're all doomed either way, might as well lash out at the guy who screwed us over.

         

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          LDoBe (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          might as well lash out at the guy who screwed us over.


          Then you probably should be lashing out at George W. Bush....
          During his presidency we got:
          -The "war on terror" (how do you win a shooting war on a concept?)
          -National Security Letters
          -The Patriot Act
          -Set up Guantanamo
          -Deregulated the financial industry, leading to the worst recession ever. A recession so bad that Obama can't do anything about it with the limited power of the presidency.

           

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            Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes but at least with Bush, he could afford to instead of bailing out banks of about $700 Billion .

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Rest assured, if he runs again, I won't vote for him.

             

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            kj1313, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 5:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I hate to quibble but it was under Clinton that Glass Steagall was repealed. Then again deregulation was started and championed by the Republican Saint Ronald Reagan. Either way both parties are corporate whores and we're all screwed.

             

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            Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 7:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            And, contrary to campaign promises, Obama took Bush's torch and ran with it while pumping gasoline.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 9:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I don't get why this isn't brought up more. Of all the terrible things Bush put in place, Obama has stopped none of it.

               

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          abc gum, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "won't think they can sell out the country to special interests, throw anyone they dislike in jail without a warrant or trial (or just have them assassinated by a drone), and then get reelected despite all they've done."

          I'm absolutely positive your chosen representative will adopt the above as a mandate simply because of your vote. This will obviously result in the elimination of these transgressions in the future regardless of candidate.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

      Re:

      You can VPN around it now. It's only a matter of time before Hollywood starts cracking down on VPNs. They can make lists of links illegal, they can make VPNs illegal.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    funny, pirate mike claims to support internet freedom, but allows people to "report" and hide comments from others who don't like what the person said

    grow a pair mike, live up to what you claim, remove the report function,let all comments be seen

    I got it, I can "unhide" the comment, but if you actually valued the internet freedom drum you bang, you wouldnt let others hide comments they didnt agree with, you would let all view points be shown

    but of course you won't remove it, you don't like to take your own medicine, you just like to shove it down other peoples throats

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

      Re:

      You comprehend that others are the ones reporting your comments, right?

       

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      SujaOfJauhnral (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:33pm

      Re:

      Cállate sockpuppet

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

      Re:

      Typical troll AC, has argument thoroughly rebuked in one thread. Posts it again in every other thread no matter how often others point out the flaws in the logic. You just keep trucking along little trooper, I'm sure no one else notices.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:47pm

      Re:

      If only we could shove something down your throat...

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

      Re:

      Did someone cut the cheese again?

       

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      lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 6:02pm

      Re:

      Honestly, the only comments I've ever seen that were hidden are from dipshit troll posts attacking Mike and adding nothing to the conversation.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

      Re:

      INTERNET HARD!!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 1:06am

      Re:

      It's effectively censoring.

      Masnick has been making the "view this comment" text lighter and lighter over the past few months to where it's basically invisible.

      He's a blatant hypocrite that has lost whatever small influence he once had. His only purpose now is to preach to the freetard choir.

      It must suck for him to know his moment has passed.

       

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        btrussell (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 2:55am

        Re: Re:

        "Masnick has been making the "view this comment" text lighter and lighter over the past few months to where it's basically invisible."


        Don't you know what watching porn and being a solo participant does to your eyesight?

         

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        JTP, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

        Re: Re:

        "Masnick has been making the "view this comment" text lighter and lighter over the past few months to where it's basically invisible."

        Looks the same to me as when I started reading in Nov/Dec, and inspecting the element gives the color label "pink" (the color of text in the body, by comparison, is "#333").
        And "censoring"? It's practically a highlighter for retarded posts. Hell, everyone here can see it gives you the attention you so desperately crave. I don't know what kind of prescription they gave you, but I suggest changing eye doctors ASAP.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Chose to answer is the critical statement here.

     

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    TheBuzzSaw (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Just one problem...

    I like how politicians pretend to care about Internet freedoms. Government and big businesses are the reasons Internet freedoms were in danger in the first place. You want to help Internet freedom? Cease your own involvement. Back off. Let it govern itself.

     

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    mewofforcena, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:12pm

    Redditards still haven't grasped the fact that Reddit AMAs are no better than press releases, interviews, and the sort. Just because it's another medium doesn't make it a beacon of freedom and democracy.
    Just one small PR stunt was enough to cause the world to get its collective panties in a twist and flock to a website to watch a politician do an online interview. How many of you were that hyped when Obama was talking on TV or on a newspaper?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      I think the hype is, "this guy is competent enough to work a computer and do things on the internet". It's only impressive juxtaposed against the usual "series of tubes" types.

       

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      Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

      Re:

      It exposed the Internet community what he really thought about net nuetrality and freedom. Which, to say the least, he doesn't care.

       

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      abc gum, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 5:52am

      Re:

      Redditards ... really?
      What is your opinion of Foxnewsitards?

       

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    Gunntherd (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 4:25pm

    "Seems like a missed opportunity."
    Haha.....just another one of many, not surprised as I would expect a "political" or "campaign" answer no matter who or what the questions were, par for the course.

     

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    gorehound (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    Not surprised as we are all aware at this point that many Politicians from all Parties are gladly taking the MAFIAA Money.You really think the other side is different well Lamar Smith is a Republican.The MAFIAA is an Equal Opportunity Corrupter.

     

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    lucidrenegade (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    Obama

    I like Obama, in that buddy I'd have a beer with kinda way. As a President, not so much. As with pretty much all politicians, he's "owned" by too many special interests. He's also fallen for the scare tactics of departments like the NSA and Homeland Security.

    I believe Dubya's problem was similar. He put too much stock in what Cheney was telling him, instead of thinking for himself. IMO, Cheney is one of the most evil people to ever walk this earth. He was just better at hiding in the shadows.

     

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      Wally (profile), Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:53pm

      Re: Obama

      Biden is worse and you have to admit that aside from shooting a court justice in the ass with a shotgun, Cenney had a brain.

      So my question is to you (and I mean no offense), would you rather spend time with Obama, who in person and in press is a huge asshole (We can't just go in there and say like they want "DRILL BABAY DRILL BABY DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!") ?

      Or would you rather hang out with a calm, collective, nice person who would be completely upset if congress tried to pull a fast one on him and is humble in the eyes of the press?

      You can tell how a president is in real life by how he gives or writes a speech. I would rather hang out with Bush Jr. because he doesn't try to be your pal. Obama seems to be the guy who tries so hard to gain your friendship he'd do anything you told him.

      That's just me though :-)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Sorry for being off topic, but one way the mainstream media can favor one candidate over another is by asking favored candidates questions within their area of expertise and asking unfavored candidates questions outside of their area of expertise. For instance, if a favored candidate is a law graduate ask them very difficult law questions and that candidate will look smart because s/he knows a lot about law. Avoid asking questions about the economy.

    If an unfavored candidate is an economics graduate ask them about something completely unrelated, like foreign war policy or something. The economics candidate very well might be a better candidate than the law candidate, being more well rounded and knowledgeable about relevant topics, but because they were specifically and intentionally asked about things they know least about the media can easily make them look much more foolish.

    As voters, this is something we need to be aware of. No candidate knows nearly everything and it's very easy for the media to use this fact against those they don't like.

     

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    Rekrul, Aug 30th, 2012 @ 5:37am

    But, there's a pretty clear set of guidelines for how to do one right -- and the first step is to sound like you're a human.

    What makes you think politicians are human?

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Aug 30th, 2012 @ 8:03am

    Weak

    President Obama Does Reddit AMA; Gives Weak Politician's Answer About Internet Freedom

    Coming from a weak politician. nothing to see here folks business as usual, please move along.

     

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