In an op-ed published in the New York Times, billionaire investor George Soros criticized social media platform Facebook and company CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who he believes should not be in control of the company.
In an op-ed published in the New York Times titled “George Soros: Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be in Control of Facebook,” billionaire investor George Soros discussed the social media giant Facebook and stated that he doesn’t believe the company’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg — who controls 53 percent of voting shares of Facebook — should be in charge of the platform.
According to Soros, Mark Zuckerberg and President Donald Trump’s interests are aligned and Trump winning re-election in 2020 would actually help Facebook. Soros writes:
At a dinner last week in Davos, Switzerland, I was asked if I thought Facebook was behaving more responsibly today than it did during the 2016 presidential election.
“Not at all,” I answered. “Facebook helped Trump to get elected and I am afraid that it will do the same in 2020.” I explained that there is a longstanding law — Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — that protects social media platforms from legal liability for defamation and similar claims. Facebook can post deliberately misleading or false statements by candidates for public office and others, and take no responsibility for them.
I went on to say that there appears to be “an informal mutual assistance operation or agreement developing between Trump and Facebook” in which Facebook will help President Trump to get re-elected and Mr. Trump will, in turn, defend Facebook against attacks from regulators and the media.
Soros points to the fact that in 2016 Facebook provided the Trump campaign with embedded staff to optimize the campaigns advertising programs, the Clinton campaign was also offered this opportunity but denied it. Soros also points to Zuckerberg’s meeting with President Trump in September 2019 as evidence of a close relationship between the two, Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political advertising is also singled out as proof of Trump and Zuckerberg working together. Soros writes:
The responsible approach is self-evident. Facebook is a publisher not just a neutral moderator or “platform.” It should be held accountable for the content that appears on its site.
Speaking at a cocktail party in Davos on Jan. 22, Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, repeated the worn Silicon Valley cliché that Facebook is trying to make the world a better place. But Facebook should be judged by what it does, not what it says.
I repeat and reaffirm my accusation against Facebook under the leadership of Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg. They follow only one guiding principle: maximize profits irrespective of the consequences. One way or another, they should not be left in control of Facebook.
Read Soros’ full op-ed in the New York Times here.