Former President Barack Obama’s Twitter post promoting his foundation backfired in spectacular fashion with people on both sides of the political aisle letting him have it.
Barack said: “Tomorrow, I’m heading to Stanford to deliver a speech about changes in the way we create and consume information, and the very real threat it poses to democracy. I’ve been reading up on this issue, sitting down with academics, researchers, industry leaders and former regulators, and listening to young leaders who are working to make progress.
“I wanted to share some of what I’ve read that offers useful context, solutions we can learn from, and interesting perspectives. Check it out, and then tune in to the speech on Thursday at 12:15pm PT.
“In recent years, we’ve seen how quickly disinformation spreads, especially on social media. This has created real challenges for our democracy.
“Part of the reason it’s hard to bring about change is because we live in a media environment that elevates falsehoods as much as truths, and divides people as much as it brings them together.
“Through the @ObamaFoundation, we’re working to empower and equip emerging leaders to tackle issues like the spread of disinformation.”
Independent conservative journalist Jordan Schachtel said Obama’s post was “More dystopian clown world genre.”
Liberal reporter Glenn Greenwald simply posted a picture of Hunter Biden and an article that called into question the laptop story.
Conservative radio host Austin Petersen joked: “I’m sure there’s no way this will ever be abused and turn into a professional leftist activist organization meant to deplatform conservatives and libertarians.”
Real Clear Investigations Editor Benjamin Weingarten said: “Speaking of, what did you know about Russiagate, when did you know it, and what did you do about it?”
Former National Security Agency analyst John Schindler said: “Why did you order the shutdown of the only office in the entire US Government that was devoted to combating and debunking Russian disinformation — one year *before* Trump’s election?”
Dilbert creator Scott Adams said: “I have questions. Does anyone involved in this foundation think it is legitimate? Do they know they are a propaganda tool by design? Do they believe their preferred news sources are real?”
Look in many cases there are two sides to the story. Even in the political world. And we have to be very careful no matter who is controlling DC in the coming years that we don’t brand anything we disagree with as misinformation.
And the media outlets that spread so much nonsense during the Trump years but also for decades before, and who work closely with the government, should not be the people who decide. Nor should the government. Nor should tech companies.
It is a complex issue but when in doubt always choose more freedom not less.