Hes arguing the tech giants’ size and “monopolistic” behavior had made them a “menace” to society, damaged democracy, and encouraged “addiction” akin to gambling companies.
Speaking on Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Hungarian businessman said that “social-media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it,” adding that they have “far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy, particularly on the integrity of elections.” Facebook’s and Google’s size, he argued, means they have become “obstacles to innovation.” He called for significantly more regulatory oversight of the companies, holding up the 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,” Soros said.
You can read his remarks at the bottom of this article.
“There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance,” he said. “This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined.”
“The owners of the platform giants consider themselves the masters of the universe, but in fact, they are slaves to preserving their dominant position,” he said. “It is only a matter of time before the global dominance of the US IT monopolies is broken. Davos is a good place to announce that their days are numbered. Regulation and taxation will be their undoing, and EU Competition Commissioner Vestager will be their nemesis.”
Haven’t heard anything from Soros in months and now this? Sounds like someone is about to release some damming evidence against this old guy and he’s preparing his defense. What do ya’ll think? Or is this a push to regulate the Internet?
Facebook and Google have become “obstacles to innovation” and are a “menace” to society whose “days are numbered”, said billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday.
“Mining and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media companies exploit the social environment,” said the Hungarian-American businessman, according to a transcript of his speech.
“This is particularly nefarious because social media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it. This has far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy, particularly on the integrity of elections.”