The Battle of Disinformation
Note: This blog post is in connection to Barack Obama’s “Challenges to Democracy in a Digital Information Realm” speech, presented at Stanford University on April 21, 2022.
Barack Obama highlights the importance of becoming healthy consumers of information. We are all flooded with an excessive amount of information each day from our fully connected world, especially through social media platforms and applications, and it is more than we can possibly process as human beings. He emphasizes the need to build civic muscles, collaborative skills, and to engage the world on reshaping the information rules. Obama suggests that we agree on set core values when it comes to internet content in hopes that we slow down the spread of harmful information and ensure that our window into the world is a little clearer. The following are five guiding principles that Obama suggests as a potential solution to reduce the flow and algorithms of toxic disinformation.
Guiding Principles for Internet Content:
- Does it strengthen or weaken the prospects for a healthy and inclusive democracy?
- Does it encourage robust debate and respect for our differences?
- Does it reinforce law and self governance?
- Does it help us make collective decisions based on the best available information?
- Does it recognize the rights, diginities, and freedoms of all of our citizens?