Narendra Modi’s tremendous reach on social media:How the PM plans to use it for better governance.

published on June 15, 2014
Signing on controversial bills isn’t alien to Barack Obama, president of the United States. In February his stamp on the farm bill — the government’s primary agricultural and food policy tool that tends to invite debate because of the subsidy programmes that it mandates — resulted in its conversion into law; and almost two-anda-half years ago, the president signed another contentious bill into law — the defence spending bill which, amongst other provisions, allows for prosecution of those suspected to be terrorists.

On Tuesday Obama did his bit to push through yet another controversial bill to raise taxes in a bid to give student-loan borrowers a breather. The hullabaloo around it — there are after all citizens wondering why they should be carrying the cross of student loans — though was not the talking point. At least not as much as the president clambering onto social media site Tumblr to drum up support for the bill was.

“I think everybody on Tumblr should be contacting their senators and finding out where they stand on the issue…It directly affects folks in their 20s and 30s — particularly the young people who use Tumblr,” Obama said in a live Q&A with Tumblr founder David Karp (source: The Washington Times).

The US president knows a trick or two about leveraging social media; he’s been at it since 2007 when he announced his candidacy, when Facebook was a threeyear-old and Twitter an infant that hadn’t yet learned to walk.

Since then he’s won two elections with plenty of help from social media — even more in 2012 — and continues to shuffle between Facebook, blogs, podcasts, Twitter and Tumblr. To a White House audience a day before the interaction with Karp, Obama was quoted in USA Today saying: “You’re laughing because you think, what does he know about Tumblr? But you will recall that I have two teenage daughters — so I am hip to all these things. Plus I have all these 20-somethings who are working for me all t ..

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