Obama to answer questions from YouTube users

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The Independent Tech

US President Barack Obama will answer questions from YouTube users in a live event on the video-sharing site next week, the White House said.

Obama will be live-streaming on YouTube at 2:30 pm (1930 GMT) on Thursday, two days after he delivers his annual agenda-setting State of the Union speech to a joint session of the US Congress.

Obama also conducted a 40-minute interview with YouTube users following last year's speech and the initiative is one of a number of moves being taken by the White House to engage with the public using the Internet.

Senior White House officials are to answer questions at the White House website at WhiteHouse.gov submitted through Twitter or Facebook immediately following the State of the Union speech.

And White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs will be answering questions from the public on his Twitter feed, @PressSec, before the address.

Google-owned YouTube said Obama's speech and the Republican response will both be streamed live.

Questions for Obama can be submitted at youtube.com/askobama. YouTube said video questions are "highly preferred" and should be about 20 seconds long.

YouTube said Obama will respond to the questions that have received the most votes from users of the site.

Last year, one of the most popular questions concerned legalization of marijuana as lobbying groups - as they have done with previous open Internet forums - mobilized their supporters to flood YouTube with submissions.

Obama embraced the Internet during his presidential campaign for organizing, fundraising and communicating and the White House has a channel on YouTube in addition to its presence on Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and Twitter.

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