Obama takes "fiscal cliff" battle to Twitter
By Alina Selyukh | November 29, 2012 11:35 AM EST
The web-savvy Obama administration launched a social media campaign that asks Twitter users to add the "#my2k" hash tag to messages with examples of what $2,000 (1,248 pounds) means to them.
The amount is roughly what a middle-class family of four would have to pay extra in taxes next year if Congress cannot strike a deal to remove the threat of roughly $600 billion in tax hikes and federal spending cuts.
The fast-paced social networking site known for its zippy 140-character comments is a tried-and-true method of reaching Americans. The latest call for such searchable references is an effort to pressure Congress into finding compromise on long-held partisan views.
Obama announced the new Twitter hash tag campaign at a news conference on Wednesday. He and fellow Democrats, who oppose significant cuts to U.S. "entitlement" programs such as Medicare as a way of balancing the budget, have been trying to break Republican opposition to hiking taxes on anyone, including the wealthy.
Promotions of "#my2k" quickly went out to millions of followers of the White House Twitter account and scores of Democratic backers, including former House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Soon, "my2k" was a top-trending subject.
"#My2K means food for a year, the remainder of my student loan paid off or a full month of child care. $2200 can make or break a family," wrote Twitter user Katrina Burchett.
In the anarchic spirit of social media, Republicans, who also polished their Twitter hash tag skills during the bitter 2012 presidential campaign, pounced quickly.
The conservative Heritage Foundation bought the promotional tweet that pops up at the top of the list if one searches for "#my2k" mentions, where the think tank offered its own take on solutions to the fiscal cliff.
House Speaker John Boehner and scores of fellow Republican lawmakers started sharing examples they hoped would put the blame for the lack of a resolution on the Democrats.
"We in the House took steps this summer to avert #fiscalcliff and stop #my2K tax hikes," wrote Representative Mike Turner. "It's time for @whitehouse and @SenateDems to act."
'BEING AWARE OF WHAT'S GOING ON'
Users on Twitter can sign up to follow one another's messages, making searchable hash tags a helpful way to sort by subject or theme.
Marcus Messner, who studies social media at Virginia Commonwealth University, said Twitter was a perfect environment to reignite Obama's base swiftly and gauge public engagement on the issue.
The Obama administration has used Twitter hash tags as part of lobbying campaigns to keep student loan rates low with #dontdoublemyrate and to extend payroll tax cuts with #40dollars, which was their estimate of how much the cuts saved an average family each year.
White House Social Media Director Macon Phillips later called the $40dollars hash tag "one of the most significant campaigns we ran on Twitter."
"It's about being aware of what's going on and understanding that in the age of social media, you're just a participant," he told an Entrepreneur.com blogger in February. "It's not something that you can control."
(Editing by Peter Cooney)
Most Popular Slideshows
- Derek Jeter With The New York Yankees Through The Years [IN PICTURES]
- George Clooney And Amal Alamuddin's Wedding In Venice: Photos Of Groom And His Family, Friends [Slideshow]
- NFL Recap - Week 4: Green Bay Packers 38, Chicago Bears 17 [PHOTOS]
- Melanoma Could Be Caused By Ageing Genes; Best Diet For Anti-Ageing; Celebrities Who Have Aged Gracefully
Join the Conversation
- Tourre on stand says email in SEC case 'not accurate'
- Syrian authorities blocking access to needy in Homs - Red Cross
- Faith in European Union at low ebb, EU poll says
- Former UBS banker gets 18 months, $1 million fine, for muni bid-rigging scheme
- U.S. judge halts challenges to Detroit's bankruptcy bid
- Forget Nexus 6 Release Date, Android Phones Will Soon Showcase Pure Google Apps & Features
- Boxing News 2014: Social Media War Between Boxers Continues As Pacquiao Repeats Comment That Mayweather Acts Like Uneducated Person, While Ignoring ‘Miss Pac Man’ Post
- Galaxy Note 4 Pre Order Starts in the US, Get Samsung Note Ahead of October 14 Release
- $249.99 Motorola Moto 360 Smartwatch's First Promo Out; 'Stone Leather' Replaces 'Gray Leather' - Available In BestBuy [Watch Video]
- BlackBerry Passport Sold Out As Preorders Reached 200,000
- iOS 8 And iOS 8.0.2 Security Flaw Revealed, Anyone Can Easily Bypass Touch ID And Passcode Security Features
- Australia Cracks Down On International Money Laundering Syndicate