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Obama talks Internet freedoms on Reddit’s ‘Ask me anything’

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

US President Barack Obama feels like fielding some questions, but isn’t calling on correspondents from the depths of the West Wing. The commander-in-chief is conducting a Q and A, and is insisting that users of Reddit.com ask away.

President Obama surprised Redditors on Wednesday afternoon by announcing that he’d be participating in one of the website’s “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA, threads.

“Hi, I’m Barack Obama, President of the United States. Ask me anything. I’ll be taking your questions for half an hour starting at about 4:30 ET,” the president wrote.

Within minutes, a tremendous amount of traffic momentarily caused Reddit.com to be unavailable to users as the president prepared to take questions, which ranged from inquiries about the White House’s secret homebrew beer recipe to his latest take on the student loan debt crisis and the future of the country’s space program — a topic that the president decided to dive into head first with his first Reddit response.

“Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration,” the president wrote. “The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level – so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.”

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