Home Obama’s Health Plan Gets Facebook App

Obama’s Health Plan Gets Facebook App

Anyone who has ever tried to keep the peace is told to avoid two topics: religion and politics. The latter is precisely the reason a flame war has ensued on Facebook. In an effort to personalize healthcare reform benefits, WhiteHouse.gov launched a “Reality Check” Facebook quiz application to rally for President Barack Obama’s widely disputed Health Insurance Reform Plan. While the application was only shared with Facebook users 6 hours ago, 350 people have already commented on everything from education, to war, to congressional travel records to general partisanship.

The Health Insurance Reform Plan is receiving the same sort of reception as Barack Obama himself with some netizens supporting it while others accusing it of being simultaneously Socialist and Fascist.

The quiz asks a number of questions including, “Have you or others in your family been seriously ill?” and “Do you think premiums are rising too fast?” From here, the application creates a personalized statement of benefits and users can choose to publish these statements to their Facebook wall. For the most part, this is a well built outreach tool. However, the quiz could be more informative if the “Read the Plan” link actually linked to passages relevant to each user’s quiz results. This would ensure that netizens understood the actual plan rather than the messaged benefit statements.

The Obama administration has always had a strong Facebook presence. An average of 4000 status updates per minute were being broadcast alongside a live Facebook video feed during the inauguration. The first White House Live Facebook App was simply a continuation of that service. The quiz app is the group’s first issues-based application.

In addition to the Facebook applications and activities, the Reality Check Health Care Reform campaign also posts regular updates to the White House Twitter feed, MySpace page and YouTube channel. To take the quiz visit apps.facebook.com/healthreformquiz.

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