YouTube Invites Users to Interact with President Obama

--President to Answer Viewer-Submitted-and-Selected Questions at Live Streaming Event Next Week

In a posting on its corporate blog, Tuesday, YouTube announced that, during and after President Obama's State of the Union speech--which will be live-streamed Wednesday on YouTube among other platforms, along with the Republican Party's response--users of its service will be able to ask follow-up questions, some of which will be answered live by the president himself next week as part of a special live event (whose exact time and date has apparently not yet been determined). "On Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET, during our live broadcast of the State of the Union on Citizentube [the US government's YouTube channel], we'll open up a Moderator series for you to submit your questions for the president in video or in text (if you have the time, we'd prefer video)," YouTube's blog posting explains. "Over the following few days, you'll be able to submit additional questions and vote on your favorites too. Then next week (we'll announce the exact timing soon), we'll bring some of your top-voted questions to the president in a YouTube interview from the White House, which we'll also broadcast live on Citizentube. As always, questions are subject to YouTube's Terms of Service."

YouTube, which says that State of the Union-related discussions on its platform have been "lively," also plans to offer on-demand videoclips of four experts responding to some of the issues and ideas that YouTube users have raised and suggested in videos posted to Citizentube: the experts are retired army general, Wesley Clark, who will respond to YouTube users' ideas about national security; Professor Noriel Roubini of NYU, who will respond to ideas about the economy; NASA climatologist, Jim Hansen, who will respond to ideas about energy and the environment; and Newsweek international editor, Fareed Zakaria, who will respond to ideas about education. YouTube users are being invited to vote to determine which viewer-submitted videos the four experts should address in their responses. The experts' responses will be made available on YouTube prior to the live streaming State of the Union coverage, which begins at 8:00PM Eastern.

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