Bill Gates is ‘concerned’ about US influence overseas and political divide online

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Bill Gates is on Reddit right now. Ask him anything!

Though Bill Gates is optimistic about America’s future, he’s concerned right now about its relationship with other countries.

“Overall like Warren Buffett I am optimistic about the long run,” Gates wrote on Reddit in response to a user asking about his thoughts on the current state of the U.S. “I am concerned in the short run that the huge benefits of how the US works with other countries may get lost. This includes the aid we give to Africa to help countries there get out of the poverty trap.”

Gates participated in an an “ask me anything” feature on Reddit that allows notable people to answer questions from users. This is the fifth time Gates has participated.

 Gates also answered a question about whether he thought social media aided in dividing the country.

“I felt sure that allowing anyone to publish information and making it easy to find would enhance democracy and the overall quality of political debate,” Gates responded. “However the partitioning you talk about which started on cable TV and might be even stronger in the digital world is a concern. We all need to think about how to avoid this problem. It would seem strange to have to force people to look at ideas they disagree with so that probably isn’t the solution. We don’t want to get to where American politics partitions people into isolated groups. I am interested in anyones [sic] suggestion on how we avoid this.”

The Microsoft founder has been optimistic about America under President Donald Trump in the past. In an interview with CNBC in December, Gates said after talking to Trump he felt the country had the chance to show “American leadership through innovation.” He compared Trump to former president John F. Kennedy, saying he believed Trump’s administration is going to get rid of regulatory barriers.

However, Gates has become slightly more critical of Trump as of late. Both he and Warren Buffett criticized Trump in a recent interview with The Atlantic.

“People want success, they want education that works, they want health care that works, and so, to the degree that certain solutions are created not based on facts, I believe these won’t be as successful as those that are based on facts,” Gates told The Atlantic. “Democracy is a self-correcting thing.”