President Barack Obama called for “thruthness tests” and a “curating function” for the media in remarks at an innovation conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Thursday. He said the answer was not censorship, but that some sort of function that determines reliability and accuracy was needed. His remarks lament the proliferation of alternative media outlets, and recall an era when news was tightly controlled by three major television networks.
No details about how these basic “truthness tests” would be implemented, but he did assure that censorship was not the answer. However, it’s difficult to imagine how this would be accomplished without some manner of official government approval for news outlets or state sanctioned media messages. Should a government entity be responsible for approving the news? Maybe the “Ministry of Truth” would be a good name for such an agency.
Pittsburgh (AFP) – President Barack Obama on Thursday decried America’s “wild, wild west” media environment for allowing conspiracy theorists a broad platform and destroying a common basis for debate.
Recalling past days when three television channels delivered fact-based news that most people trusted, Obama said democracy require citizens to be able to sift through lies and distortions.
“We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to,” Obama said at an innovation conference in Pittsburgh.
“There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world,” Obama added.
His remarks came amid an election campaign that has seen Republican candidate Donald Trump repeat ideas and take on key staff from right-wing media outlets.