George Soros: Google and Facebook 'Deliberately Engineer Addiction'

Davos 2018: George Soros blasts social media tech giants, accusing them of 'deliberately engineering addiction', and

The unflattering comparisons didn't stop there.

The Hungarian-American Soros issued a warning about both Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying the two seem "willing to risk a nuclear war to keep themselves in power".

Soros said he saw the current USA president as a "temporary phenomenon" who would disappear by 2020, if not earlier. Facebook and Google which have already faced intense scrutiny for promoting Russian propaganda in U.S. elections have again been hit by a scathing attack by Soros, who calls them monopolies that could be manipulated by authoritarians to destabilize democracy.

The philanthropist said that as Facebook and Google grew into "ever more powerful monopolies", they began to hinder innovation, and "they have caused a variety of problems of which we are only now beginning to become aware".

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"This enhances their profitability even further - but the bundling of services and discriminatory pricing undermine the efficiency of the market economy".

A Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism report revealed earlier this month that 44 per cent of publishers are more anxious about tech companies compared to the year before. They pay nothing for user-generated content, they assume ownership of users' digital identities and histories, and they mine this data for behavioural insights that help them sell our attention more profitably, or to seduce us into buying more of their products and services.

Mr Soros said the European Union, which has no internet giants of its own, was best placed to "protect society against them", whereas U.S. regulators, he maintained, were too weak. Even worse may lie in store.

Addressing a packed audience, Soros also warned about the rise of "monopolistic behaviour" of technology and social media companies such as Facebook and Google which, while once liberating and innovative, are now socially damaging. "That turns them into a menace and it falls to the regulatory authorities to protect society against them", Soros said.

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Soros, a great supporter of economic liberalism, became known in the world of politics by supporting anti-communist movements in the former Soviet republics. Against these counsels of despair, Popper posits the radical freedom of an open society. But on Thursday night Trump ended up getting upstaged by another elderly Manhattan billionaire: George Soros.

In a blistering critique of the country under Trump's leadership, the head of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations painted a bleak picture.

He warned that some of the companies could enter into "unholy marriages" with regimes in Russian Federation and China, creating a "web of totalitarian control" that would be disastrous.

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