I came across an article on Breitbart that cites Obama in the following ways:

We are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow some sort of curating function that people agree to.

There has to be, I think, some sort of way in which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests and those that we have to discard because they just don’t have any basis in anything that’s actually happening in the world.

What we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the Wild, Wild West.

The article includes a video. However, it's just muted footage of Obama speaking, with a woman's voice talking about what Obama allegedly said.

I've tried a few relevant search entries, however, I can't seem to find any reliable source.

Did Obama actually say any of this?

Emphasis mine.

  • 4
    So Obama was calling for something like skeptics.stackexchange.com? Oct 20, 2016 at 20:51

1 Answer 1



You can see a video from the white house on YouTube where he makes the first statement and the second statement.

He is clearly not referring to censorship but to something similar to the Web Of Trust.

The third statement is unrelated and refers to cyberwarfare. Here's the third statement which continues with

What we cannot do is have a situation in which suddenly this becomes the Wild, Wild West with countries that have significant cyber capacity start, ah, engaging in competition, unhealthy competition or conflict with these means

  • We already have Web of Trust, though. Is he talking about something more centralized like government or ISP supported? Did he (or his staff) ever elaborate, or are we left to speculate?
    – Fiksdal
    Oct 15, 2016 at 13:38
  • @Fiksdal he doesn't say, but he does say it would be optional and does not seem to imply government-controlled at all. He's more talking about having a curating function based on reputation of the curator, like a newspaper.
    – Sklivvz
    Oct 15, 2016 at 13:47
  • Right. Sort of like WOT, I guess. Genius.com has this really cool browser extension which lets people annotate websites sentence for sentence, and also vote on the annotations of others. Anyway, since such services already exist, I think it's unclear what Obama is calling for. More widespread use of those services, maybe? Hard to tell.
    – Fiksdal
    Oct 15, 2016 at 13:52
  • 5
    WOT got close to useless lately, as more and more activist groups find it and start putting red flags on any website they ideologically don't agree with.
    – vsz
    Oct 15, 2016 at 14:36
  • @vsz Yeah, good point. And I wonder if it's even possible to avoid such tendencies?
    – Fiksdal
    Oct 15, 2016 at 15:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .