WhatsNew2Day
Latest News And Breaking Headlines

Obama takes a swipe at social media firms for underminimg democracy

Obama lashes out at social media companies for undermining democracy as he claims 40% of the country believes Joe Biden was fraudulently elected and a similar number don’t believe in vaccines

  • “I do think there is a demand for internet madness that we have to grapple with,” the former president said
  • Obama, 60, spoke with Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg on Wednesday at an event hosted by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and The Atlantic.
  • While he praised how easily available information had become in the United States, he did say it led people to believe in conspiracy theories en masse.
  • “About 40 percent of the country seems convinced that the current president was elected fraudulently and that the elections were rigged,” he noted.
  • He added that 30-35 percent were not using vaccines against Covid-19, which he called a “medical miracle”.

President Barack Obama criticized social media for providing what he calls a “crazy demand” and spreading disinformation in ways he says he underestimates.

Obama, 60, spoke with Atlantic editor Jeffrey Goldberg Wednesday at an event hosted by the University of Chicago‘s Institute of Politics and the Atlantic.

“I think there’s a demand for madness on the Internet that we have to grapple with,” Obama said.

While he praised how easily available information in the United States had become, he did say it led people to believe in conspiracy theories en masse.

“About 40 percent of the country seems convinced that the current president was elected fraudulently and that the elections were rigged,” he noted, with about 30-35 percent not using vaccines against Covid-19, which he called a “medical called miracle. that was clinically tested by a billion people.

President Barack Obama criticized social media for providing what he calls a 'demand for crazy' and spreading misinformation

President Barack Obama criticized social media for providing what he calls a ‘demand for crazy’ and spreading misinformation

Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey

Meta Co-Founder and Facebook Co-Creator Mark Zuckerberg

Although Obama also lashed out at journalists, he said the destruction of local media and the emergence of news through major technology and social media “have made democracy more difficult.”

The former president seemed to refer to a Axios-Momentive poll from January, which found that 40% of Americans still do not believe Joe Biden is the legitimate winner of his 2020 election against Trump.

Obama also took a swipe at journalists, saying the destruction of local media and the emergence of news via major technology and social media has “made democracy more difficult.”

He made the point of comparing how Russians couldn’t see any information about their invasion of Ukraine.

“If that’s true in our society, imagine how any of us would process information if we didn’t get anything else, see? It’s hard for me to see how we can win the ideas contest if we can’t actually agree on a baseline of facts that make the market of ideas work.”

Obama cited issues like the rule of law, freedom of the press and conscience, independent judiciary, fair and free elections as issues to be agreed upon.

Biden and former President Barack Obama listen to US Vice President Kamala Harris (out of frame) speak about the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in the East Room of the White House

Biden and former President Barack Obama listen to US Vice President Kamala Harris (out of frame) speak about the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in the East Room of the White House

US Vice President Kamala Harris, US President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama arrive to address the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in the East Room

US Vice President Kamala Harris, US President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama arrive to address the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in the East Room

He then linked it to a growing laziness of people operating on behalf of democracies that led to the invasion.

‘We have become complacent. And I can’t guarantee that as a result of what happened, we’ll shake off that complacency,” he said.

Obama also said he was surprised by the Russian invasion of Ukraine based on his dealings with Russian leader Vladimir Putin on his two terms as president.

The former president noted that he was always “ruthless” but did not seem to recognize Putin after seeing the world with him for years.

“I don’t know if the person is the same person who is now in charge of this indictment,” Obama said of Putin. ‘That he would bet on the farm like that? I wouldn’t have predicted it five years ago.’

Obama, who served as president during Putin’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, said he was “encouraged” by the actions the West had taken against the invasion this time compared to his efforts eight years ago.

Advertisement

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More