The usually measured former US president Barack Obama uncharacteristically called out Russian president Vladimir Putin and indicted former Trump campaign Chairman Steve Bannon over what “dangerous disinformation” campaigns “turbo-charged by social media.”
Speaking at the Stanford University Cyber Policy Center, Obama noted that as with everything that is generally positive to society, there is always “unintended consequences.”
“Like all advances in technology, this progress has had unintended consequences that sometimes come with a price. In this case we see that our new information eco system is turbo-charging some of humanity’s worst impulses,” Obama said.
Misinformation, some of which represent blatant and malicious attempt to lie to gullible information consumers, has become the most dangerous threats to humanity.
For example, now 20% of Americans, according to President Obama, refuses to get vaccinated and thus put themselves and their families at risk to contract the coronavirus based upon lies fueled by the information eco system.
What is dangerous about this phenomenon is that America’s freedom of speech and of expression clause in the constitution makes it difficult to rein in abusers of that freedom.
“Do not underestimated this stuff,” Obama added.
The United States is currently confronted with dangerous disinformation campaign by elements of fringe groups spewing conspiracy theories about politics and Covid vaccines endangering lives.
Many of these campaigns are not necessarily to achieve political goals but some do so purely for profits.
Obama called on the United States Congress to “fix the problem.”
DNT News with correspondence reports from Bryan Asare.