President Obama will talk tech with Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook Live

Obama-Zuckerberg-Facebook-town-hall
President Obama talks with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook's HQ in 2011
President Barack Obama is scheduled to participate in a Facebook Live discussion with Mark Zuckerberg this Friday as part of a conference on tech from emerging markets.

The White House announced that the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Palo Alto, California, will also see Obama talk with an audience of entrepreneurs from 170 countries, Reuters reports.

Instead of addressing domestic concerns over the use of social media by extremists, Obama will reportedly focus on connecting Silicon Valley’s brightest minds, and investors, with fledgling tech innovators from around the world.

“We believe the United States needs to have affirmative values that we are promoting around the world, in addition to the efforts we do to counter terrorism,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told reporters. “We wanted to discuss not just what we’re against, but what we’re for.”

It is unclear at this stage what format the Facebook Live discussion will take. Zuckerberg has not asked for users to contribute their questions for the president to answer, meaning a preplanned discussion may be in the cards. However, audience participation is a major part of Facebook Live, as viewers can interact with a stream in real-time using reactions and comments.

This isn’t the first time Obama and Zuckerberg have met to host a discussion. In 2011, the president ventured to Facebook’s HQ to take part in a town hall-style meeting with the social network’s CEO. This time round, the audience won’t just consist of the platform’s employees, but will instead have the potential to reach a large number of its 1.65 billon users. Such a high-profile event will also provide a much needed boost for Facebook’s burgeoning live-streaming feature, which it is aggressively expanding with the help of celebs and media firms.

The GES is now in its seventh year, and the White House claims it has reached a total of 17,000 people in (mostly Muslim) emerging markets since its inception in 2009.

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