Former President Barack Obama is speaking out about social media and its effects on democracy.

Speaking at Stanford University last Thursday (April 21), he said the way voters consume and share information is weakening democracies around the world and is responsible for “turbocharging some of humanity’s worst impulses.”

“One of the biggest reasons for democracies weakening is the profound change that’s taken place in how we communicate and consume information,” Obama said, according to CBS News.

Key Points’ from Barack Obama

Obama also noted that the current information ecosystem is deepening existing racial and religious divides, though he added that advancing technology is not fully to blame for the problems of modernity.

“Some of the current challenges we face are inherent to a fully connected world,” he said. “They’re also the result of very specific choices made by the companies that have come to dominate the internet generally, and social media platforms in particular.”

The 44th president said decisions by social media companies surrounding algorithms and content moderation “have made democracies more vulnerable” and is concerned how “inflammatory and polarizing content attracts and engages.”

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, President Obama said it’s a great example of how “the very design of these platforms seems to be tilting us in the wrong direction.”

“Despite the fact that we have now essentially clinically tested the vaccine on billions of people worldwide, around one in five Americans is still willing to put themselves at risk and put their families at risk rather than get vaccinated. People are dying because of misinformation,” he said.