Obama, Merkel Blame Social Media For Being Politically Disruptive - Hit & Run : Reason.com:
"At a joint press conference in Berlin earlier today, President Obama and Germany Chancellor Angela Markel blamed the internet and digitizationon making a "clash of cultures" more direct and instilling uncertainty in people about their identities and economic security.
Merkel suggested the internet and digitization would have to be regulated like the printing press or industrialization in order to limit its disruptive effects.
"It led to enormous transformational processes within individual societies," Merkel noted. "It took a while until societies learned how to find the right kind of policies to contain this and to manage and steer this," Merkel said.
The printing press was easily the most disruptive technology in the history of Western civilization.
...Obama noted in the press conference, before Merkel's call for more speech regulation, that freedom of speech was one of the principles that, if they were maintained, would help ensure that "over the long term progress will continue."
Yet contemporary governments show little understanding of this, participating in the erosion of free speech rights and other mechanisms Obama mentioned, like checks and balances, that ensure "progress."
..."If we can't discriminate between serious arguments and propaganda, then we have problems," Obama said, offering little in the way of self-reflection on his role in these trends.
"If people, whether they are conservative or liberal, left or right, are unwilling to compromise and engage in the democratic process, and are taking absolutist views, and demonizing opponents, then democracy will break down."..."