Former President Barack Obama would like to see people in leadership find ways for the public to “recreate common space” on the Internet, he said in his first interview since leaving the White House, broadcast Wednesday.
While the former president did not once mention his successor President Donald Trump by name, he pointedly remarked on the importance of using the internet and social media to unite rather than divide, a tactic Trump is known to ignore, with his near-daily Twitter rants against the media, individuals and even members of his own administration.
“One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities,” he said in the interview with BBC’s Radio 4 Today, which was guest edited by Prince Harry Charles Albert David. “They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases. … The question has to do with how do we harness this technology in a way that allows a multiplicity of voices, allows a diversity of views, but doesn’t lead to a Balkanization of society and allows ways of finding common ground.”
In the lukewarm 40-minute interview, which was recorded in September, Obama fielded questions about everything from his new foundation to whether he prefers boxers over briefs (he didn’t answer that question).
The former president said he felt a sense of “completion” when he left the White House in January.
“That was mixed with all the work that was still undone and concerns about how the country moves forward. But overall there was a serenity there, more than I would have expected,” he said.
Watch the full interview below: