In a recent interview with The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg, Barack Obama expressed worry about the internet and social media, which he suggested might have helped create "the single biggest threat to our democracy." According to journalist Glenn Greenwald, the former president's comment is a signal that the Democratic Party is planning to pursue internet censorship.
"There is no question that Democrats are gearing up to use their new power to apply far more pressure than ever on Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. to censor any views they deem 'threatening,'" he tweeted. "Obama could not be clearer about this."
The writer continued to claim that Goldberg is behind the "most destructive disinformation of the last 20 years." He pointed in particular to the journalist's article on Saddam Hussein's possible Al-Qaeda ties approximately one year before the Iraq War. The claims were pushed by United States intelligence officials but later revealed by an American military study to be untrue, The Guardian reported. As the publication noted, the claims were the "central case" for the George W. Bush administration's war with Iraq.
"Please look at what is going here," Greenwald wrote.
"Democrats are defining whoever opposes them not as adversaries but as national security threats, fascist terrorists, etc. -- all to justify blocking them from the internet using their influence with Silicon Valley."
According to Vox, Obama used his interview to suggest that the digital landscape created by platforms like Facebook and outlets like Fox News provides Americans with the ability to "choose their own distorted reality." But according to Greenwald, the outlets that are allegedly most supportive of internet censorship — such as NBC, CNN, and The Atlantic — are the ones who have participated in promoting disinformation over the Iraq War.
Despite Obama's worries, Vox noted that he had a friendly relationship with the tech industry throughout his two White House terms. Notably, political appointees stifled career regulators who wanted to pursue antitrust charges against Google at the end of Obama's presidency. However, Obama has become a vocal critic of social media amid Donald Trump's presidency, and his public comments across the president's term often addressed its purported dangers.
The dangers of online censorship have become a significant worry for many. As The Inquisitr reported, a Google document leaked in 2018 revealed that the company outlines specific content to be censored and the appropriate way of censoring it. The tech giant has come under fire from conservatives in particular, who accuse it of political bias and believe that purported censorship targets people with right-leaning political beliefs.