Obama says social media falsehoods spur scepticism on politics

SAN FRANCISCO (BLOOMBERG) – Former US president Barack Obama warned that the best way Americans talk on social media networks has weakened democracy.

Obama, who owns the podcasting and movie firm Higher Ground, warned that “citizens no longer know what to believe” because of false info spreading on-line. This is resulting in political scepticism amongst residents, he added.

“The very design of these platforms is tilting us in the wrong direction,” he stated on Thursday (April 21) throughout a convention at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Centre.

Hate speech, vaccine misinformation and state-sponsored amplification of faux information are feeding folks’s need to learn sensational content material, the previous president stated.

While Obama acknowledged that a few of the most odious content material, equivalent to racism, white supremacy and conspiracy theories, existed “long before the first tweet was sent”, he argued that “solving the disinformation problem” on social media networks may assist construct belief and solidarity amongst residents.

Although his manufacturing firm is reported to be in talks with podcast distributors for a deal value tens of thousands and thousands of {dollars}, the previous president stated he’s involved that the best way folks create and market info by means of the Internet poses a risk to democracy.

Obama stated his conferences with folks at corporations like Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube confirmed him that staff at these platforms are “sincere in trying to limit content that encourages hate speech or violence”, however the corporations have a monetary creative to maintain as many customers engaged as doable.

“While content moderation can limit distribution of clearly dangerous content, it doesn’t go far enough,” he stated. “Users who want to spread disinformation have become experts in pushing right up to the line.”

Obama added his voice to considerations over Internet-based disinformation and misinformation at a time when Elon Musk’s effort to purchase Twitter has spurred debate over social media’s obligations to free speech.

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