Barack Obama would regulate social media companies more tightly

The former US president believed that much more transparency was needed in the area.

Barack Obama in his speech at Stanford University highlightedthat technology platforms and the companies that operate them must accept that they have a unique role to play in today’s world and in the way people and individuals around the world consume information, and that their decisions have an impact on every aspect of society.

“I am convinced that one of the most significant reasons for the weakening of democracy is the profound change that is taking place in communication and information consumption. They may never have been elected president if there had been no sites like MySpace, MeetUp and Facebook, which allowed an army of young volunteers to organize, raise money, and spread our message.But like all technological advances, this progress has unintended consequences.And in this case, we see that our new information ecosystem is giving a boost. the dark side of humanity. “

“Some of the challenges we face today are part of a fully connected world. Our brains aren’t used to absorbing so much information so quickly. But not all of the problems we see now are a byproduct of this new technology. They use the Internet in general – and especially it is also the result of very specific decisions by companies that define social media platforms. Decisions that intentionally or not intentionally have made democracies more vulnerable. “

The information contains “invisible distortions and subtle manipulations” in the bids concerned. That is why these big sites would have to be supervised and regulated to some extent. To do so would require a change in the law that governs that these portals are not responsible for the content posted by their users.


“For more and more of us, search and social media platforms are not just a window to the Internet, they are our primary source of news and information. But no one has told us that the window is subject to blurry, invisible distortions and subtle manipulations. that we get a steady stream of content with useful factual information and cat videos pouring behind lies, conspiracy theories, lies, white superiority and racist incitement, misogyny masks, and over time we lose the ability to differentiate between facts, opinions, and opinions. “

The politician stressed that he is maximally in favor of free speech, and it was no coincidence that this was the first addition to the U.S. Constitution. But this is about controlling the power of the state, and it doesn’t apply to the editorial decisions of private companies like Facebook or Twitter, as well as The New York Times or Fox News. Social media companies are already deciding what is allowed or not allowed on their platforms and how that content is displayed, by moderation or by algorithms. But we do not currently know what principles govern these decisions. And there is no public debate and virtually no democratic oversight on an issue of huge public interest.


The politician added that it is not just a matter of requiring a greater degree of care for the services concerned when it comes to the advertising that appears in their system, but also of making their working methods more transparent. That is why it would be good for the United States to follow stricter regulations in this area, for example by looking at existing regulations in the European Union. Barack Obama has called on the U.S. government to take action and not accept the hate-ridden entry stream that is constantly being observed on the platforms. Social portals are tools and we need to be controlled and transformed by people.

Source: SG.hu Hírmagazin by sg.hu.

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