Barack Obama Calls for More Censorship: First Amendment ‘Does Not Apply to Facebook and Twitter’  

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Former President Barack Obama in a major speech on Thursday called for more regulation of social media content, in order to diminish “disinformation.” The former president delivered a speech on the issue at Stanford University after spending months studying the subject. He described himself as “pretty close to a First Amendment absolutist” but immediately clarified that it did not apply to social media companies. “The First Amendment is a check on the power of the state. It doesn’t apply to private companies like Facebook and Twitter,” he said, calling for more “value judgements” on content moderation and censorship on social media. “While content moderation can limit the distribution of clearly dangerous content, it doesn’t go far enough,” Obama added. The former president complained that current content models for social media platforms allowed all content to flow equally. “[O]ver time we lose our capacity to distinguish between fact, opinion, and wholesale fiction. Or maybe we just stop caring,” he said. Obama also complained that an overwhelming flood of information made it difficult to discern the truth. “Our brains aren’t accustomed to taking in this much information this fast, and a lot of us are experiencing overload,” he said. Obama warned that dangerous people were using social media to distract the public.

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