Former US President Barack Obama returns to warn against the irresponsible use of social media in a special BBC interview, the first since he left the White House. Obama, as widely anticipated, is interviewed by Prince Harry. The social media, Obama warns, are distorting the ability of the public to understand complex issues and is spreading false information. It is not the first time that Obama criticizes the excessive use, characteristic of his successor Donald Trump, without ever having named the tycoon.
“One of the dangers of the Internet is that people can have completely different realities: they can be emboldened in information that reinforces their prejudices,” he observed this time turning to the real of England. “The question has to do with how we use this technology to allow for a multiplicity of voices, a diversity of points of view” that should be aimed at “finding common ground”, explains the former American president.
Obama then referred to “all the work that was not accomplished” during his term, expressing “concern about how the US is moving” but underlining that “there is serenity”. “I did not do a lot of interviews, but it was fun,” said Prince Harry for his part.
The interview, broadcast in the context of the Today program of BBC Radio 4, is part of a series of dialogues conducted by prominent personalities and organized for the Christmas period; was recorded in Toronto (Canada) last September, during the celebration of the Invictus Games, the sports event involving wounded war veterans and sponsored by the nephew of Queen Elizabeth II.
Some extracts of the backstage of the interview had already been released a couple of weeks ago and had highlighted the mutual sympathy of the two protagonists. Today the British broadcaster has spread the contents of the meeting between Obama and Prince Harry, fifth in the line of succession to the British throne.