The former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, has called social media an ‘amplifier for idiots’.
Schmidt was talking during a virtual conference hosted by the Wall Street Journal and discussing the current antitrust lawsuit that’s been leveled against Google by the US government.
Although Schmidt left Google’s parent company Alphabet in 2019, he remains one of its largest shareholders.
He explained that while the lawsuit itself is misplaced, there is still an argument for greater regulation of technology and social media in general.
‘The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people is not what we intended,’ he said.
‘Unless the industry gets its act together in a really clever way, there will be regulation.’
He also echoed Google’s own response to the lawsuit, which suggests the tech company has a monopoly on search. According to Schmidt, Google’s search engine continues to be used because people actively choose it over rivals, not because it’s blocking other companies.
‘I would be careful about these dominance arguments. I just don’t agree with them,’ Schmidt said. ‘Google’s market share is not 100%.’
Google itself called the lawsuit ‘deeply flawed,’ adding that people ‘use Google because they choose to – not because they’re forced to or because they can’t find alternatives.’