Obama appeals to tech crowd at Facebook town hall

Obama-Zuckerberg-Facebook-town-hallIn an attempt to re-ignite the youth energy of his 2008 campaign, President Obama launched the first ever live town-hall-style meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday.

Broadcast live to the social network’s more than 500 million users, the Q&A session included questions from the live audience as well as those submitted through the event’s Facebook page. Questions were moderated by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who joined the president on stage wearing uncharacteristically dressy attire.

“Thank you so much, Facebook, for hosting, first of all, ” said Obama as he introduced himself to the crowd. “My name is Barack Obama, and I’m the first guy to get Mark Zuckerberg to wear a jacket and tie.”

During the meeting, President Obama touched on a wide variety of issues sure to play a major role throughout the 2012 campaign, including the ballooning national debt, the federal budget, health care, and the housing market.

While detailing his plan to reduce the deficit, which is expected to hit $1.4 trillion this fiscal year, the president promoted his strategy of spending cuts and increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, a group that includes both the president himself and 26-year-old Zuckerberg, who is worth an estimated $13.5 billion.

“I’m cool with that,” said Zuckerberg in response to the plan.

Zuckerberg, who recently donated $100 million to the Newark, New Jersey, school system, praised Obama’s education reform efforts. “I think the Race to the Top stuff that you guys have done is one of the most under-appreciated and most important things that your administration has done,” Zuckerberg said.

Obama turned the conversation to the importance of quality math and science education, a topic popular with the Silicon Valley crowd.

“I always hear stories about how we can’t find engineers, and that’s why we’re emphasizing math and science … We want to start making Science cool,” Obama said. “I want people to feel about the next big energy breakthrough and the next big Internet breakthrough the same way they felt about the moonwalk.”

“We’ve got to lift our game up when it comes to science, math and technology,” Obama continued. “That’s hopefully greatest legacy I can have as President of the United States.”

The president also backed the idea that America allow highly skilled immigrants to contribute to America’s technology industry.

“If we’ve got smart people who want to come here and start businesses and are PhDs in math and science and computer science, why don’t we want them to stay? They are job generators,” Obama said to a round of applause. “I think about somebody like an Andy Grove of Intel,” the president continued. “We want more Andy Groves here in the United States. We don’t want them starting companies — we don’t want them starting Intel in China or starting it in France. We want them starting it here.”

To conclude, Obama made his plea to the young crowd that made up the audience, both at Facebook headquarters, and those watching at home, to stay engaged in the politics of the country.

“If you put the same energy and imagination that you put into Facebook into the political process, I guarantee you there’s nothing we can’t solve,” Obama said.

At the end of the event, Zuckerberg made his own stylistic contribution as he presented President Obama with his signature duds, a Facebook hoodie.

Business

What can tech companies do to create more women-friendly workplaces?

The days of deliberately excluding women from most workplaces is over, but that doesn’t mean they’re all welcoming. There are ways to recognize and combat unconscious biases to make offices more inclusive.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Facebook’s tributes section serves as an online memorial for deceased users

Death doesn't stop Facebook users from sharing memories, and now those memorialized posts have a dedicated spot on the network. Facebook Tribute is a section on memorialized profiles for users to write posts and share memories.
Social Media

How to protect yourself from GoFundMe scams before donating

Can you spot a GoFundMe scam? While the fundraising platform says scams make up less than a tenth of one percent of campaigns, some do try to take advantages of others' charity -- like a case last year that made national news.
Social Media

Your Facebook newsfeed is getting a spring cleaning, and so is Messenger

Hows that newsfeed looking? Facebook has shared an update on efforts to clean up the newsfeed, as well as what tools are coming next. Facebook has new Trust Indicators, while Messenger gains badges for verified accounts.
Social Media

Looking to officially rid your inbox of Facebook messages? Here's how

Deleting messages from Facebook Messenger is almost as easy as scrolling through your News Feed. Here, we show you how to delete an entire conversation or a single message, both of which take seconds.
Social Media

LinkedIn: Now you can express love, curiosity, and more with new Reactions

LinkedIn is following in the footsteps of Facebook (three years later!) with the rollout of new reactions that give users more ways to express themselves when responding to posts in their feed.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.