For their part, Republicans accuse companies of suppressing free speech by censoring conservative voices — above all former President Donald J. Trump, who was banned from Facebook and Twitter after the riots on Capitol Hill on January 6 last year. With little agreement on the problem, even less on a solution.
Whether Mr Obama’s campaign can sway the debate remains to be seen. While he is not seeking to endorse a single solution or a specific piece of legislation, he hopes to attract common ground across the political spectrum.
Jason Goldman, a former Twitter, Blogger and Medium CEO who served as the first White House digital chief under Mr. Obama and continues to mentor him.
“There is a potential reason to believe that a good path emerges from some of the mess we are in,” he added.
As an apostle of the dangers of disinformation, Mr. Obama can be an imperfect messenger. He was the first presidential candidate to inherit the power of social media in 2008 but then, as president, he didn’t interfere very much when the dark side of it – propaganda of lies, extremism, racism and violence – became evident at home and abroad.
“I see it happening – and that’s the extent to which disinformation, disinformation, disinformation has been weaponized,” Obama said in Chicago, saying something. close to regret. He added, “I think I’ve underestimated the extent to which democracies are as vulnerable as they are, including our own.”
Mr. Obama, people close to him said, was plagued by misinformation after leaving office. Like many others, he re-emphasized whether he was doing enough to counter the information campaign ordered by Russian President Vladimir V. Putin to tilt the 2016 election against Hillary Rodham Clinton.