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.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 21, 2022
“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.
In a speech at Stanford, former President Barack Obama said tech platforms are “turbocharging some of humanity’s worst impulses.”https://t.co/ys6S21s7Cc
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) April 22, 2022
“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.
Former President Obama, speaking at Stanford University, argues the deterioration of democracies and the hunt for viral moments go hand in hand:
“Over time, we lose our capacity to distinguish between fact, opinion, and wholesale fiction. Or maybe we just stopped caring.” pic.twitter.com/wDRLzsNLBY
— The Recount (@therecount) April 21, 2022
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.
Former President Barack Obama is taking on a major problem we all face: disinformation. Today, he gave a speech at Stanford University saying lies and conspiracy theories on social media have weakened democracy. @EamonJavers reports from California. pic.twitter.com/0j3PLn9vLR
— The News with Shepard Smith (@thenewsoncnbc) April 21, 2022
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.