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Obama will take questions from YouTube talent following State of the Union

It worked to perfection last year.


Rae Votta


Posted on Jan 11, 2016   Updated on May 27, 2021, 9:25 am CDT

YouTube is heading to the White House again as part of the annual State of the Union address, this time giving three new creators a chance to grill President Obama on key issues.

The YouTubers, who have more than 12.1 million in combined subscribers, come from a variety of genres. Ingrid Nilsen, a beauty vlogger who came out on her channel last June; vlogger Adanda Thorne, best known as sWooZie; and Smarter Every Day creator and engineer Destin Sandlin, will all speak with Obama in the White House East Room on the Friday following the address. They’ve each shared their excitement on social media and asking for questions using the hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama.

This is far from the first time YouTubers have engaged with the Obama. Last year YouTubers Hank GreenBethany Mota, and GloZell Green interviewed him after the State of the Union address, drawing criticism from mainstream media outlets, followed by shock that the digital talent actually asked insightful questions

The White House is further pushing into the digital realm with this year’s State of Union streaming live on YouTube, as well as the White House launching a Snapchat to go behind the scenes on the speech. So far, the media’s coverage has lacked the sensation and shock about digital stars getting a seat at the table, since during the past year their influence, especially with young Americans, has been proven. 

YouTube will stream the State of the Union on Jan. 12 at 9pm ET, followed by the YouTuber sit down Jan. 15 at 2:15pm ET.

Screengrab via White House/YouTube

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*First Published: Jan 11, 2016, 4:00 pm CST