Barack Obama spoke to the graduating class of 2020 for YouTube's "Dear Class of 2020."
Former President Barack Obama addressed graduating students during YouTube's “Dear Class of 2020” virtual graduation ceremony, Sunday.
Handout / Getty Images
Obama spoke about the internet, the news media, activism, and more with the class of 2020.
“To see so many of you participating in peaceful protest, to see so many of you of every race and background raise up your voices on behalf of justice for all, well, it’s been unbelievably inspiring. You make me optimistic about our future," he said.
“Use all that critical thinking you’ve developed from your education to help promote the truth,” he continued. “You are the Internet generation and the social media generation. It’s not just how you shop, or listen to music or watch videos, it’s part of your social lives, it’s the new town square where you all come together to meet. In many ways, it’s been an amazing tool. In your pockets, you have access to more information than any group of people in history. It’s allowed movements of like-minded people to mobilize on behalf of worthy causes. But, what’s become clear is that social media can also be a tool to spread conflict, divisions, and falsehoods, to bully people, and promote hate. Too often, it shuts us off from each other instead of bringing us together, partly because it gives us the ability to select our own realities, independent of facts or science or logic or common sense. We start reading only news and opinions that reinforce our own biases. We start canceling everything else out."
Check out the full speech below.