Former U.S. President Barack Obama warned that the way Americans communicate on social media networks has weakened democracy. Bloomberg: Obama, who owns the podcasting and film company Higher Ground, warned that “citizens no longer know what to believe” thanks to false information spreading online. This is leading to political skepticism among citizens, he added. “The very design of these platforms is tilting us in the wrong direction,” he said Thursday during a conference at Stanford University’s Cyber Policy Center. Hate speech, vaccine misinformation and state-sponsored amplification of fake news are feeding people’s desire to read sensational content, the former president said. While Obama acknowledged that some of the most odious content, such as racism, white supremacy and conspiracy theories, existed “long before the first tweet was sent,” he argued that “solving the disinformation problem” on social media networks could help build trust and solidarity among citizens.

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