Former President Barack Obama acknowledged that Breitbart News changed the media narrative during the 2016 election.
“You know … Bannon and Breitbart did something pretty interesting. Now, they didn’t create a whole new platform but they did shift the entire media narrative in a different direction — in a powerful direction,” Obama said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Obama made his remarks during his Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago after stopping by a panel discussion on the “Responsibility of Powerful Online Platforms.”
He urged people attending the session to “solve” the shifting media climate and turn it back in a different direction.
“The question is — are you able to do that in reverse but to things that are true and are not designed simply to churn anger and resentment and frustration,” he said. “So — solve that will you?”
Obama has frequently expressed his frustration with the freedom of the internet, calling for it to be regulated.
“Part of ways changed in politics is social media and how people are receiving information,” he griped during a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel after Donald Trump was elected president. “It’s easier to make negative attacks and simplistic slogans than it is to communicate complex policies.”
In October 2016, Obama proposed “truthiness tests” for media companies online.
“We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to,” he said.