Responsible for “weakening democracies” | Obama calls for regulation of social media

(SAN FRANCISCO) He knows he would not have been elected without social networks, but today he’s calling for them to be regulated: Former US President Barack Obama gave a speech Thursday accusing major platforms of greatly inflating human “worst instincts.”

Posted yesterday at 9:24 PM.

« L’une des causes majeures de l’affaiblissement des démocrates tient au profond changement dans nos façons de communiquer et de nous informer », at-il déclaré devant des étudiants de Stanford, l’université au cœur, in California .

The Democratic leader admitted he “may not have been elected” without sites like MySpace or Facebook, and spoke of the useful outreach and mobilization work that activists around the world are doing, via the networks.

But he particularly made clear the opposite of the success of Facebook or YouTube, whose business model – broad-based targeted advertising – is based on the attention economy. He noted that “unfortunately, the content is tempting and polarizing that attracts attention and encourages participation” from users.

The former head of state (2009-2017) also addressed the phenomenon of disinformation, blaming himself for not being sufficiently aware of “how receptive to lies and conspiracy theories” before the election of his successor Donald Trump.

Putin did not. Did not need. We did it ourselves,” he said, referring to the voter-manipulation campaigns orchestrated from Russia.

He said, referring to Donald Trump, who did not recognize Joe Biden’s victory at the end of 2020 and encouraged his supporters before the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol, which left many dead.

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“This should be our alarm bell to respond.”

So Barack Obama has called for the laws governing social networks to be reformed, so that they are more accountable and more transparent, explaining that the problem at the heart of misinformation is less “what people post” than “content promoted by these platforms.”

The proof he says is not “neutral” and that algorithms must be subject to security checks by a regulatory body, such as cars, food and other consumer products.

He then detailed a series of values ​​he believed should guide moderation in content, such as promoting democracy and respecting differences.

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

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