Soon-to-be-former President Barack Obama gave a press conference while he was in Lima, Peru at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit. One reporter question Obama about Russia’s alleged meddling in the U.S. election, and whether that is going to become the “new normal” going forward.
Obama responded that he was more concerned with ‘fake news’ being propagated on social media:
“The issue of the elections did not come up because that’s behind us and I was focused in this brief discussion on moving forward. I had already made very clear to him our concerns around cyberattacks, generally, as well as specific concerns we had surrounding the DNC hack.
“I don’t think this will be the norm, but as I’ve said before, the concern I have has less to do with any particular misinformation or propaganda that’s being put out by any particular party, and a greater concern about the general misinformation from all kinds of sources — domestic, foreign, on social media — that make it very difficult for voters to figure out what’s true and what’s not. And let me put it this way. I think if we have a strong, accurate and responsible press, and we have a strong, civic culture and an engaged citizenry, then various attempts to meddle in our elections won’t mean much.
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“If, generally, we’ve got elections that aren’t focused on issues and are full of fake news and false information and distractions, then the issue is not going to be what’s happening from the outside; the issue is going to be what are we doing for ourselves from the inside. The good news is that’s something that we have control over.”
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