White House to hold Twitter Town Hall

Public invited to tweet questions in advance for live online Q&A with Obama

The White House will hold its first “Twitter Town Hall” event at 2 p.m. on July 6 in which President Barack Obama will appear in a live discussion broadcast on the Web responding to questions via the Twitter online service.

White House officials on June 30 announced the event on the official White House Blog and on Twitter. Obama began inviting the public to tweet questions about the economy, jobs and other issues on Twitter using the #AskObama hashtag. The hashtag is a content label that enables the questions to be easily collected and viewed as a group on Twitter. Announcements of the event were far outnumbering submitted questions on Twitter as of late afternoon on June 30.

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The White House also started a new Twitter account, @townhall, that will begin sharing additional announcements about the event, starting June 30.

Twitter’s Co-Founder Jack Dorsey will moderate the session, which will include a Tweetup, a gathering of Twitter users. The White House invited Twitter users to register for a chance to be randomly selected to be in the audience for the town hall. Twitter also has set up its own page for the session.

The White House currently has 2.2 million followers on Twitter, and Obama’s personal account has 8.9 million followers.

Twitter Town Hall events typically combine a live Webcast event with a conversation on Twitter. Several members of Congress and governors have sponsored the town hall events.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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