Tags: Barack Obama | barack obama | serious conversation | social media companies | business models

Obama Wants 'Serious Conversation' for Social Media Businesses

Obama Wants 'Serious Conversation' for Social Media Businesses
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By    |   Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:14 PM

A "serious conversation" is needed for social media companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter to discuss their relationships with the public as well as with business, former President Barack Obama said.

"We have to have serious conversation about what are the business models, the algorithms, (and) the mechanics whereby we can create more of a common conversation and that cannot just be a commercially driven conversation," Obama said last week at an MIT sports analytic conference, Axios reported.

Rules are needed to make sure social media platforms behave fairly in the marketplace, he said.

"I always try to remind people that capitalism works and the marketplace works because there are some basic rules, when in place, create even playing fields that ensure people aren't defrauded," Obama said.

While social media platforms can be a "hugely powerful potential force for good," they are just a tool, Obama said, according to Reason.

"ISIS can use that tool. Neo-Nazis can use that tool. I do think the large platforms — Google and Facebook being the most obvious, Twitter and others as well, are part of that ecosystem — have to have a conversation about their business model that recognizes that they are a public good as well as a commercial enterprise," Obama said.

"They're not just an invisible platform, they're shaping our culture in powerful ways."

Managing the dominance of platforms such as Facebook is complicated, Obama said. He noted that countries such as China censor and prevent open access. "That's not who we are, that's not the society I want to live in."

President Donald Trump said in an interview with Axios in January 2017 that he would not require the government to intervene in Facebook's dominance, but he said he believed competition will arrive to take on its dominance.

"Now I think that you'll have new Facebooks starting up. I'm all for that. You'll have people challenging, people coming up with new ideas, and you know, it's a very innovative group of people," Trump said.

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A "serious conversation" is needed for social media companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter to discuss their relationships with the public as well as with business, former President Barack Obama said.
barack obama, serious conversation, social media companies, business models
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2018-14-28
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 12:14 PM
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