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May 30, 2013

Morning Read: Sen. Bernie Sanders, King of Reddit

MorningreadReddit! It's not just for underage girl "creepshots" and failed amateur detective work anymore. Just kidding — the so-called "front page of the Internet" is one of the web's top aggregators of whatever's interesting. (It's also BuzzFeed's favorite place for, um, inspiration.)

Reddit's anything-goes attitude and meme-centric culture might not seem a natural fit for a 71-year-old politician. But Sen. Bernie Sanders, always internet-savvy, is making it work. Take it away, Business Insider:

Sanders has taken to the Vermont "subreddit" to invite constituents to a showing of Lincoln in St. Johnsbury and a hangout session afterward.

He has also asked young Redditors for stories of unemployment that he later incorporated into floor speeches and a running YouTube channel. 

Sanders' presence on Reddit signals a new social-media method for members of Congress to interact with their constituents, along with the more common Twitter and Facebook.

Sanders and his team are famous for effectively using social-media platforms — Vermont's junior senator is considered a top political Twitter user and has 207,000 Facebook fans — but Reddit might be a particularly natural fit, where top stories are determined by user "upvotes" instead of cryptic algorithms. And unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are overrun by self-promotional brand accounts at the expense of individual users, Reddit has been a tough nut to crack for marketers, who can find themselves shut out of the site entirely if they're deemed too spammy.

Plenty of politicians, artists and others looking for a dose of promotion have spent a few hours on Reddit's popular Ask Me Anything series, but it takes some real social savvy to blend PR work and outreach to fit into the Reddit community on a daily basis.

Click here to read Business Insider's full story, and check out Sanders's Reddit account over here.

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