Left-wing billionaire George Soros spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, where he called social media “harmful” and stated that the U.S. IT monopoly would be short-lived.
The Washington Post reports that speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, George Soros, the billionaire left-wing philanthropist and founder of the Open Society Foundation, called for further regulation of tech companies and warned of growing backlash against U.S. tech firms. “Facebook and Google have grown into ever more powerful monopolies, they have become obstacles to innovation, and they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware,” stated Soros during his speech.
Soros further stated that social media companies “claim they are merely distributing information. But 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.” The billionaire further stated that government intervention would be needed to regulate these companies as they have “neither the will nor the inclination to protect society against the consequences of their actions.”
Soros also warned that these tech companies may compromise user privacy and safety in order to operate in countries acting under authoritarian regimes such as China, and that this could lead to “a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined.” Soros further explained why these regimes would take advantage of social media saying, “The dictatorial leaders in these countries may be only too happy to collaborate with them since they want to improve their methods of control over their own populations and expand their power and influence in the United States and the rest of the world.”
Soros also claimed that companies such as Google and Facebook “engineer addiction to the services they provide” which can be “harmful” to users, particularly teenagers. Soros added that these companies “deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes.”