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Policy: Technology

Obama faces a Redditors Rebellion, at least for now

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Photo - Reddit, a forum that has typically embraced President Obama, has started to turn against him after the National Security Agency's spying was revealed.
Reddit, a forum that has typically embraced President Obama, has started to turn against him after the National Security Agency's spying was revealed.
Beltway Confidential,Barack Obama,Rand Paul,NSA,Ashe Schow,Reddit,Technology

Recent scandals plaguing President Obama are eroding his support from some of his most stalwart supporters - "redditors." Until recently, the social-sharing site Reddit has steadfastly defended the president, even glorified him and created several memes (repeated images, phrases and ideas spread across the Internet) based on the chief executive.

With the NSA spying scandal, however, redditors are beginning to turn on the Obama. As that rare redditor who is not an Obama admirer, I welcome this as a welcome change. For the past four years, memes about random, unimportant things that Obama did were cheered, while any meme, opinion or news story critical of the president was chastised. Oft-times, the Obama gushing was too much to handle.

All that changed this past weekend, when nearly every other link was critical of Obama or the NSA scandal. Suddenly, Obama was no longer a hero, and the small percentage of opponents on the site were able to break through and voice their opinions.

Memes abounded attacking Obama, the government, even Reddit itself for suddenly agreeing with Fox News and Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. Redditors were even upset that Obama spoke with Reddit before the campaign and claimed to be on their side with Internet freedom issues - which is clearly not the case as the NSA spying scandal shows.

Reddit, usually known for comedic memes about cats and Nicholas Cage, has become, at least temporarily, a place of hostility. It was actually difficult to find anything purely comical this past weekend. While the bulk of the anger seems to have dissipated since the weekend, the majority of the political links being submitted even today are about the NSA scandal.

Now, is this trend likely to continue? Maybe. Most redditors are young and intensely anti-Big Brother policies, so it would be difficult for Obama to change the perception that he supported policies that led to the spying on of American citizens.

For four years, Obama could do no wrong, according to legions of redditors, and it seems he took that for granted. Could it be that, since Obama has now angered many parts of his base, he will actually be critically scrutinized as he should have been all along?

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