Social media shouldn't divide society, says former US President Barack Obama

Danny Woods
December 28, 2017

As he appeared on BBC Radio 4's flagship Today programme, Mr Obama claimed that there was a danger of people cementing their biases as a direct result of social media use.

As part of his guest editor role, Prince Harry interviewed former USA president Barack Obama on the use of social media.

Obama never overtly named Trump in his comments, but he did make reference to a need for us to "harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices" without leading to "a Balkinisation of society", per the news agency's transcript.

"Social media is a really powerful tool for people of common interest to convene", he says, "but then it's important for them to get offline, meet in a pub, meet at a place of worship, meet in a neighborhood, and get to know each other".

"I don't know about that", Harry said.

In lighter news, though, was a rapid fire exchange during the interview, when Prince Harry asked Barack Obama a slew of unrelated "this or that" questions about what the former POTUS misses the most about the White House, his favorite television shows and whether he wears boxers or briefs.

"That was mixed with all the work that was still undone and concerns about how the country moves forward. More than I would've expected". She is not someone who was naturally inclined to politics, so in some ways, despite the fact that she was I think as good of a first lady as there has been, she did this largely in support of my decision to run.

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When asked whether Obama likes Buckingham Palace or White House, he responded in favour of the latter saying that the former's lawn will be hard to mow.

Obama said he now had to "rely more on persuasion than legislation" but that he enjoyed being able to focus his energies on the causes that mattered most to him.

Markle, an American actor, has been critical of Trump in the past, and there is already widespread controversy in the United Kingdom over the prospect of an official visit by the President to the UK.

Questioned live on air after the pre-taped interview was broadcast, Prince Harry said the guest list has not yet been put together for his wedding to U.S. actress Meghan Markle next May.

The prince and the former president's bonhomie was on full display at the recent 2017 Invictus Games.

When asked how Markle was adapting to his family's traditions, Harry shared, "She's done an absolutely unbelievable job, she's getting in there and it's the family that I suppose she's never had".

"We haven't even put the invites or the guest list together yet".

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