Obama puts blame on big tech for disinformation

Former President Barack Obama blamed big tech for failing to address disinformation during a speech at Stanford University on Thursday.

Obama accused social media of “turbocharging” the worst in people as the focus of his latest talk.

Specific choices

“But not all problems we’re seeing now are an inevitable byproduct of this new technology. They’re also the result of very specific choices, made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet generally, and social media platforms in particular,” Obama said.

“Decisions that intentionally or not have made democracies more vulnerable,” he added.

Fact or fiction

Obama also argued social media users can lose discernment over time on outlets.

“Over time, we lose our capacity to distinguish between fact, opinion, and wholesale fiction. Or maybe we just stopped caring,” he said.

But not everyone is on board with the view that disinformation weakens democracy. Many view the issue of freedom of speech as a key aspect of a democratic society.

Obama may have addressed an important trend, but his answer isn’t quite a true solution to dealing with the issue without censoring free speech too.

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