On a trip to England, former President Barack Obama was interviewed on Dec. 27 by Prince Harry, who was guest-hosting Radio 4's "Today" program.
Obama took the opportunity to comment on the potential dangers of social media, while alluding to current President Donald Trump's use of Twitter.
Without mentioning the president by name, he said that those in a position of power should be careful with what they post on social media.
Specifically, he stated that care must be taken to avoid spreading misinformation.
"One of the dangers of the internet is that people can have entirely different realities," the former president said. "They can be cocooned in information that reinforces their current biases."
Although the former law professor stopped short of a full-blown lecture, he did elaborate at some length:
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.
Social media is an important tool for people of common interests to get to know each other and connect. Then it's important for them to get offline, meet in a pub. Meet at a place of worship, a neighborhood and get to know each other.
On the internet everything is simplified. When you meet people face to face, it turns out that people are complicated.
When asked what he thought of Trump's first year in office, Obama merely said he had mixed feelings, and regretted leaving office with "all the work that was still undone."
The topic of the show eventually turned to Harry's fiancee, American actress Meghan Markle.
When Harry's co-hosts asked him if Obama would be invited to the wedding, Harry said: "I don't know about that, we haven't even put the invite or the guest list together, who knows if he's going to be invited or not. I wouldn't want to ruin that surprise."
Last summer, Markle raised some eyebrows when she revealed that she was a big fan of the world-famous left-wing political activist Noam Chomsky, observes The Guardian.
She told her 2 million Instagram followers that Chomsky's book "Who Rules the World" was a "great read," and that she would "highly recommend" it.
In response, the 88-year-old Chomsky told The Guardian: "I've heard about the marriage, but didn't know about Markle's interests. Naturally pleased to hear it. Sounds as though she may, for many reasons, shake up the royal family."
As with Obama, Chomsky also had a few choice words about Trump.
"The way to understand Trump, I think, is pretty simple," the venerable radical said. "Apart from the pathological megalomania, he is an astute enough politician to understand that his only hope for power is to keep his adoring base in line, and they relish the fact that he is lashing out at those they see as their enemies and persecutors: Muslims, elites, foreigners."