December 8, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

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Responsibility for “weakening democracies” | Obama calls for control of social media

Responsibility for "weakening democracies" |  Obama calls for control of social media

(San Francisco) He knew he would not be elected without social networks, but today he called for their control: former US President Barack Obama made a speech on Thursday in which he accused major platforms of spreading “bad instincts” well. Humanity “.

Posted yesterday at 9:24 pm.

Speaking to students at Stanford University in the heart of Silicon Valley, California, he said: “One of the main reasons for the weakening of democracies is the drastic change in the way we communicate and communicate.

The Democratic leader acknowledged that he could not be “elected” without sites such as MySpace or Facebook, and talked about the beneficial work of raising awareness and mobilizing activists around the world through networks.

But he particularly described the reverse of the success of Facebook or YouTube, whose business model – large-scale targeted advertising – focused on the economy. “Unfortunately, this provocative, affirmative content attracts attention and promotes engagement from customers,” he noted.

The former head of state (2009-2017) also lived up to the phenomenon of misinformation and blamed himself for not adequately understanding “how much we accepted lies and conspiracy theories” before the election of his successor Donald Trump.

“Putin did not do that. He does not need to. We did it ourselves, ”he said, referring to voter manipulation campaigns orchestrated from Russia.

“We have just seen a sitting president reject clear election results and help incite a violent uprising against the nation’s capital,” he said, encouraging Donald Trump and his supporters not to recognize Joe Biden’s victory at the end of 2020. Before the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, many people had died.

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“It should be our alarm bell to respond”.

Barack Obama therefore called for reform of the laws governing social networks so that they are more accountable and more transparent, explaining that the heart problem of misinformation is that “the content that these platforms promote” is less “publicized”. .

Like cars, food and other consumer products, he proves that they are not “neutral” and that algorithms must be subject to safety inspections by the regulatory authority.

He described the range of values ​​he believes should guide content control, such as strengthening democracy and respecting differences.

“Tools do not control us. We can control them. ”