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Social Media Platforms Are Amplifiers For Idiots: Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt

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Former Google CEO and manager Eric Schmidt has always been up for pithy sayings, but since he left Alphabet Inc. he has not been featured in the media that often. But now he’s back and with a statement that is “Schmidt-worthy”.

Eric Schmidt was Executive Chairman of the Mountain View search engine company until 2015 and then moved to the parent holding company Alphabet. At the beginning of 2020, he finally left the group (but is still one of the largest shareholders) and concentrates on his work as a consultant and professor at Stanford University.

Social Media To Blame For More Internet Regulation

Nevertheless, he is a popular interview partner and not only because he knows the Internet business very well, but also because he likes to paraphrase the topics in a rather flowery way or to speak the plain language. He was recently asked about the state of the Internet, according to Bloomberg, and Schmidt said that the “excesses” of social media will in all likelihood lead to increased regulation of Internet platforms. Of course, Schmidt also spoke about the current antitrust lawsuit against Google, but also said that he could understand the desire for more regulation: “The context of social networks that serve as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people is not what we intended” said Schmidt. “If the industry doesn’t pull itself together in a really clever way, there will be new regulation.”

The former Google manager certainly knows what he is talking about because Schmidt was largely responsible for the takeover of YouTube at the time. By “amplifier for idiots”, Schmidt undoubtedly means people like conspiracy theorists and corona deniers. YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter have recently been increasingly taking action against these and others, but opinions can be divided about their success.

Mark Goodman

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