Hey there --
Earlier this week, President Barack Obama went to Silicon Valley with a message for Big Tech and the world.
In a momentus speech, he called out Big Tech for their role in supercharging disinformation, enabling autocrats, and undermining democracies across the globe.
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President Obama criticized Big Tech’s design decisions and business model for hooking users and spreading disinformation. He pinpointed systemic problems and structural reforms that Accountable Tech has centered in its work. Some highlights below:
Big Tech’s surveillance advertising business model erodes our consensus reality:
“Search and social media platforms aren’t just our window into the internet. They serve as our primary source of news and information. No one tells us that the window is blurred, subject to unseen distortions and subtle manipulations. All we see is a constant feed of content, where useful, factual information and happy diversions flow alongside lies, conspiracy theories, junk science, quackery, racist tracts and misogynist screeds. Over time, we lose our capacity to distinguish between fact, opinion, and wholesale fiction.”
Democracies must take action:
“As the world’s leading democracy, we need to set a better example. Right now, Europe is forging ahead with some of the most sweeping legislation in years to regulate the abuses of big tech companies. Their approach might not be the exact right model for America…We should find our voice in the global conversation.”
We can make social media better:
“Social media is a tool. At the end of the day, tools don’t control us. We control them, and we can remake them…And I believe we should use every tool at our disposal to secure our greatest gift, a government of, by, for the people for generations to come.”
For the past two years, Accountable Tech has been at the forefront of advocating for structural reforms to restore our information ecosystem to strengthen our democracy. We’ve made progress, but frankly it hasn’t been easy taking on some of the most powerful and profitable companies on the planet. But the EU is finalizing bold new legislation today to rein in Big Tech and similar legislation is advancing in the US.
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We’re grateful to have President Obama in this fight. We’re going to need all the support we can get—from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Atlantic—to take on Big Tech.
Co-founder & Executive Director
We see the irony of asking you to take action on the same platforms we’re fighting to hold accountable, but they are… well… dominant. We have to reach people where they are in order to level the playing field -- and we’re ready to bring the fight right to their own platforms.
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