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

The Verge used to have a superb custom of cataloging all of the instances when Eric Schmidt caught his foot in his mouth, and right now’s looks like a worthy addition: the former Google CEO and govt chairman has determined that social networks are “amplifiers for idiots.”

The fuller quote, in accordance with Bloomberg: “The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people is not what we intended.”

Without realizing who “we” refers to, you would possibly assume he’s speaking about how your complete tech trade has didn’t maintain websites like Facebook and Twitter from creating echo chambers and polarizing politics all over the world (although some argue we will’t blame social networks alone).

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

But chances are you’ll recall that Schmidt additionally personally managed one of the largest social networks for many 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 price on the time. He then stayed on as Google’s CEO till 2011 and was Alphabet’s govt chairman till early 2018.

This yr, YouTube lastly revealed it makes $15 billion a yr, 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 intended.”

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

“I would be careful about these dominance arguments. I just don’t agree with them,” Schmidt stated. “Google’s market share is not 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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