- Facebook and Google are a “menace” to society because of their failure to protect against “the consequences of their actions,” billionaire investor George Soros said.
- Speaking at Davos, Soros launched an aggressive and multi-pronged attack on the tech giants, accusing them of “monopolistic” and anti-competitive behaviour.
- He said the companies are encouraging “addiction” like gambling companies, and of being “obstacles to innovation.”
Billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros has launched a blistering and multi-pronged attack on Facebook and Google, arguing the tech giants’ size and “monopolistic behaviour” has made them a “menace” to society, damaging democracy, and encouraging “addiction” akin to gambling companies.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland on Thursday, the Hungarian businessman argued that “social media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it,” with “far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy, particularly on the integrity of elections.”
The size of Facebook and Google, he argued, means they have become “obstacles to innovation,” and he called for significantly more regulatory oversight of the companies — holding up European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager as a model that other regulators should emulate: “The fact that they are near- monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access.”
(You can read his full remarks below.)
Facebook and Google threaten the concept of “freedom of mind,” Soros says
He was also critical of the two companies’ impacts on people’s minds, accusing them of deceiving users by “manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes. They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide,” he went on.
“This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents. There is a similarity between internet platforms and gambling companies. Casinos have developed techniques to hook gamblers Read More Here