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Letters to the President turn digital as President Obama gets a Facebook Messenger bot

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US President Barack Obama has always been a people’s person. To take his leadership to the next level, the most powerful man in the world encouraged his people to write to the White House about anything at all. This was surely a hectic job as Obama himself has been quoted to say that he reads 10 letters a day since entering office in 2009. To make this less of a trouble for both the President and citizens, the White House announced today that speak with the White House bot instead.

According to Obama, the 10 “letters a day” or 10 LADs, as they’re known to staff , do more to keep the President in touch with what’s happening around the country than just about anything else. He adds that these letters act as powerful motivators for him.

But he isn’t the only President to have followed this tradition. The practice dates back to Thomas Jefferson, and almost all US Presidents since then have followed this rule.

With the advent of technology, however, digitization of this age-old tradition was a sure thing.

Now, instead of writing letters to the President on paper and expecting a response or reply, people can simply send a message to the White House via the new Messenger chat bot. The bot, currently, only accepts text messages. So, if you want to send images or videos to Obama, you’ll have to wait for a possible future update. Also, the text messages have no limits, so you can write to your heart’s desire.

President Obama, regarding this new development, says:

“To make sure that in all the hustle and bustle that’s taken place here, we don’t lose sight of why we’re here — which is a bunch of citizens all across the country, needing our help, seeking advice, more than occasionally being angry, wanting to be heard. And what’s interesting is not only do these letters help me to stay in touch with the people who sent me here, or the people who voted against me, but a lot of times they identify problems that might not have percolated up through the various agencies and bureaucracies. And more than once there have been occasions where these letters inspired action on real problems that are out there.”

The sender’s  phone number, address, and email address are also requested, just in case the President would want to talk to you in person.

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