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Former President Barrack Obama Is Concerned About Social Media

Barack Obama.Chuck Kennedy/obamawhitehouse.archives.gov

Social media has become such a powerful force that it has led huge changes to social structures by simply giving people a platform to spread their message. Unfortunately, not every change caused by companies like Facebook have been positive and powerful people are starting to take notice. Former U.S. President Barrack Obama even recently expressed his concerns over the effects that social media is having on society.

Considered one of the best presidents that the U.S. has ever had in recent surveys, Obama’s opinion carries a lot of weight among many people. He recently spoke at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference at MIT and while a huge part of his speech was about the subject matter, he also touched on the topic of social media.

He placed particular emphasis on how social networks have contributed to the current political divide, CNET reports. It’s worth noting that these statements are supposed to be off-the-record, but the audio was posted by Reason, a libertarian magazine.

"I do think the large platforms — Google and Facebook being the most obvious, Twitter and others as well, are part of that ecosystem—have to have a conversation about their business model that recognizes they are a public good as well as a commercial enterprise," Obama said. "They're not just an invisible platform, they're shaping our culture in powerful ways.

The former president has become particularly concerned with how facts don’t seem to be the same on both sides, these days. This is especially obvious when citing the difference in information provided by various media outlets.

"In some cases, they don't even talk about the same thing. And so it is very difficult to figure out how democracy works over the long term in those circumstances," he notes.

As for a potential solution to this problem, cracking down on bots being used to spread misinformation and lies automatically could be helpful, Futurism notes. This could be a plan that Obama could get behind, though, he was careful to emphasize that government control of the media should be avoided.

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