George Soros: 'Trump would like to establish a mafia state'

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Facebook and Google have become "obstacles to innovation" and are a "menace" to society, said billionaire investor George Soros in Davos on Thursday.

"They deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide", he said.

Though both Soros and Benioff are known for their strong opinions and political activism, their words come at a particularly sensitive time for the internet giants, which are grappling with a very public backlash in the wake of the 2016 U.S presidential election.

"The distinguishing feature of internet platforms is that they are networks and they enjoy rising marginal returns", he said. "This may well result in a web of totalitarian control the likes of which not even Aldous Huxley or George Orwell could have imagined". This time previous year, Soros called Trump a "would-be dictator" and predicted that he would fail.

"The power to shape people's attention is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few companies", he said.

In an analysis of the current state of the world and the severity of the problems it confronts, Soros says that President Trump "would like to establish a mafia state but he can't because the Constitution, other institutions, and a vibrant civil society won't allow it".

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.

Soros said that these tech giants claim that they are distributing information but they are distributing monopoly instead.

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. George Soros isn't involved in the day-to-day management of that organization. The business magnate believes USA internet-service companies are already tempted to give into the demand of authoritarian states in order to gain access to their markets.

Soros also went on to mention that while the two companies operate by expanding their outreach to users on convenient platforms, there are underlying issues surrounding their sizes, influence, and dominant worldwide outreach, which has created a world where users are not only deceived by the platforms based on their agendas, but also willingly give up their autonomy.

At a dinner he hosted on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros also predicted that Trump would be a "temporary phenomenon" and would lose in the 2020 election if he got that far.



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