Mr. Obama, when praising the internet’s transformative advantages, urged providers to set social responsibility forward of the relentless quest for earnings.

“These providers want to have some other North Star than just generating income and growing income shares,” he reported.

Mr. Obama spoke at a conference arranged by Stanford’s Cyber Policy Middle, which is dedicated to the worries the electronic earth has made for democracy in the United States and further than. He cited his own productive use of social media as a prospect but also his frustration with how Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, utilized social media to impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

“What does however nag at me was my failure to entirely take pleasure in how susceptible we experienced come to be to lies and conspiracy theories, regardless of currently being a target of disinformation myself,” he said, referring to, among other items, the wrong debate about his U.S. beginning certification. “Putin did not do that. He did not have to. We did it to ourselves.”

Amongst the attendees were notable students, former governing administration officials and associates of quite a few tech providers, including Alphabet — which owns Google and YouTube — and TikTok. In individual discussions, panelists largely agreed on the issue of disinformation and the toxicity and partisanship that it fuels, but there was very little consensus on what precise options would operate finest or be politically doable.

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