Social media platforms ‘designed’ to weaken democracies: Barack Obama
Former US President Barack Obama has broken his silence after a long time, saying social media platforms are well designed to destroy democracies.
Speaking at an event at Stanford University on Thursday night, Obama called the present “another tumultuous and dangerous time in history.”
“Disinformation is a threat to our democracy and will continue to be so unless we work together to tackle it,” he said.
Obama, who served as the 44th US president from 2009 to 2017, raised concerns about Russian election interference in 2016 and the invasion of Ukraine.
“People like Putin, and Steve Bannon (Donald Trump’s senior adviser) for that matter, understand that people don’t have to believe (disinformation) to weaken democratic institutions,” Obama said.
“All you have to do is flood a country’s public square with enough raw sewage. All you have to do is raise enough questions, spread enough filth, plan enough conspiracy theories, that citizens know no more what to believe,” he added.
Obama said while we reap what social media companies have sown, it may not be too late to make different choices, reports TechCrunch.
“Not all of the problems we are seeing now are an inevitable by-product of this new technology. They are also the result of very specific choices made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet, in general, and social media platforms. in particular,” he said. Noted.
In the competition between truth and lies, cooperation and conflict, “the very design of these platforms seems to be tipping us in the wrong direction. And we’re seeing the results,” Obama continued in his hour-long speech.
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