Barack Obama has suggested that people who are “rude,” “obnoxious,” or “lie” on social media should have be stripped of their online anonymity.
The former president made the comments during a keynote conversation with The Atlantic’s Editor in Chief Jeffrey Goldberg at the ‘Disinformation and Erosion of Democracy’ conference.
After Obama initially claimed he was “close to a First Amendment absolutist,” his response to Goldberg asking him how he would regulate social media companies “to make sure that they’re not privileging anger, privileging division and polarization through their algorithms,” suggests otherwise.
Obama argued that online anonymity protections should be removed when it comes to speech of which he doesn’t personally approve.
“In some circumstances, it’s important to preserve anonymity…so that there’s space in repressive societies to discuss issues but as we’ve all learned, it’s a lot harder to be rude, obnoxious, cruel, or lie when somebody knows you’re lying and knows who you are and I think that there may be modifications there that can be made,” said Obama.