While all the focus this week will be on what Donald Trump has, or hasn’t achieved in his first year in office, it’s important to note the language of his predecessor in the same period has been consistent in drawing to our attention what the single, most dangerous aspect that social media is presenting to society at this moment in history: filter bubbles. It is the biggest threat to our democracies.
Last week, Netflix launched its new show My Next Guest Needs no Introduction with David Letterman, and the former U.S. president, Barack Obama, was Letterman’s debut guest.
In a wide-ranging interview, with the States still reeling at alleged Russian interference during the presidential election - Obama again, as he has done since his departure from the White House - spoke of his concerns that: “Facebook pages are where more and more people are getting their news from, and at a certain point you just live in a bubble: that’s part of why our politics is so polarised just now.”
He continued: “I think it’s a solvable problem, but I think it’s something that we need to spend a lot of time thinking about.”
Certainly, reinforcing existing biases is driving communities, families and friends apart. Hung parliaments are now the norm across Europe whilst Scotland and Catalonia are looking to secede entirely from their nation states. The polarisation of countries has been absolutely achieved and is pushing individuals’ political persuasions to breaking point. What Obama doesn’t realise, however, is that a solution does exist which aims to bridge the gap.
Newsvoice is a news revolution, an app that provides an answer to the 44th President of the United States. Newsvoice empowers citizens to stand up to corporations and governments by allowing their input on the mainstream media. The technology is nimble in its delivery, impartial with its content perspectives and most importantly of all: essential in order to build a truly inclusive and unbiased news platform.
This is a call, not just to Barack Obama, but to all democrats to help us build a truly global movement.
Barack Obama chats with David Letterman on why filter bubbles are a risk to democracy