Obama warns against divisive social media use
Former U.S. President Barack Obama said using social media in a harmful way can lead to the “Balkanization of society,” in what is seen as a dig at his successor and prolific tweeter Donald Trump.
Obama was speaking to Prince Harry in an interview for the BBC broadcast Wednesday morning.
The former president said technology should be used “in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn’t lead to a Balkanization of society and allows ways of finding common ground.”
He added: “One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities,” describing how some people end up only reading media that “reinforces their current biases.”
“On the internet, everything is simple,” Obama said, but “when you meet face to face, it turns out it is complicated.”
While not mentioning Trump by name, the former president’s comments feed into the debate about how social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have contributed to the rise of “fake news.”
In his 2008 election campaign, Obama was credited with being the first presidential candidate to successfully create an online and social media platform that mobilized younger voters.