“I am Barack Obama, President of the United States: Ask Me Anything”

Using Reddit.com as Platform for Social Media Campaigning

It’s been a while since Barack Obama answered users’ questions on Reddit, but here are some late thoughts on this anyway. I will present a short paper on this topic at the interdisciplinary symposium “Watching Politics“, University of Warwick, 31st of May 2013.

When Barack Obama announced his participation in Reddit’s Ask-Me-Anything subsection on 29th of August 2012, the message circulated rapidly among various social media. Only three hours before answering users’ questions on Reddit, he informed via Twitter: “Hey, everyone: I’ll be taking your questions online today. Ask yours here”. Continue reading

“Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”


Discussing Politics on Social Media

Margaret Thatcher is dead and (not only) the internet is celebrating. I learned of her death during a compulsive Facebook check. Without further comments, somebody had posted the video “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” from the 1993 movie The Wizard of Oz. The respective clip on Youtube is now a rallying point for Thatcher critique.

As reactions to Thatcher’s death, various articles, comments and pictures have emerged (or have been merely rediscovered). Subsequently, I have witnessed Facebook friends being confronted with their mediated affiliation which does not seem to be based on anything such as shared interests and convictions.

Continue reading