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After years of justifying YouTube, former Google CEO calls social networks ‘amplifiers for idiots’

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The Verge used to have a effective custom of cataloging the entire occasions when Eric Schmidt caught his foot in his mouth, and at this time’s appears like a worthy addition: the previous Google CEO and govt chairman has determined that social networks are “amplifiers for idiots.”

The fuller quote, based on Bloomberg: “The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for idiots and loopy individuals will not be what we meant.”

With out figuring out who “we” refers to, you may assume he’s speaking about how the complete tech trade has did not maintain websites like Fb and Twitter from creating echo chambers and polarizing politics around the globe (although some argue we will’t blame social networks alone).

He’s actually a member of the tech elite, one who had the ear of many different CEOs and even engaged in some extraordinarily shady dealings that approach.

However you could recall that Schmidt additionally personally managed one of many greatest social networks for a few years: YouTube. He presided over the $1.65 billion buyout in 2006 and did it exactly in his function as a visionary, paying as a lot as $1 billion greater than he thought it was value on the time. He then stayed on as Google’s CEO till 2011 and was Alphabet’s govt chairman till early 2018.

This 12 months, YouTube lastly revealed it makes $15 billion a 12 months, so maybe the acquisition has now been justified on purely monetary phrases. Societally, nonetheless, it sounds extra like he’s apologizing that the golden age of YouTube is over. It’s “not what we meant.”

Schmidt was additionally requested in regards to the landmark antitrust case Google’s presently dealing with down with the Division of Justice, and Bloomberg has this gem of a quote:

“I might watch out about these dominance arguments. I simply don’t agree with them,” Schmidt mentioned. “Google’s market share will not be 100%.”

I suppose antitrust solely kicks in when you’ve locked out each competitor and now serve actually each human being on earth?

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