Soros says Google and Facebook should be more strictly regulated

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Soros, who been a core donor to the Democrats, also laid in to the Republican President Trump, calling him a "temporary phenomenon" who will be gone by 2020.

He didn't elaborate on what he meant.

During last year's conference in Davos, Soros predicted negative prospects for the stock market under Trump. Trump is due to address delegates Friday.

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's most blistering attack was directed at President Trump.

His public and financial support for Hillary Clinton throughout the 2016 United States presidential elections made Soros a hate figure and all-round bogeyman for the burgeoning alt-right movement.

In a wide-ranging showpiece speech, the Hungarian/American also says internet platform monopolies are harming society and endangering democracy and goes on to predict a Democratic landslide in the United States' 2018 midterm elections. It's nearly to the point of becoming this: If Soros says yes, the world should bet no.

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Soros' criticism of Trump comes as no surprise as he has been a longtime supporter of Clinton. But Soros' main concern is the speed with which these companies took over the world. "Not only the survival of open society, but the survival of our entire civilization is at stake", Soros said. He said that the power to "shape people's minds" now lies in the hands of a few companies, and that those without freedom of mind can be easily manipulated. "Social media companies influence how people think and behave without them even being aware of it", he said.

Brands and third-party content providers are also sucked into these companies because they "cannot avoid using the platform", Soros said.

He argues they "deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide", which can be particularly harmful to adolescents, and draws a parallel with the behaviour of gambling companies.

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

Soros then warned, "There could be an alliance between authoritarian states and these large, data-rich IT monopolies that would bring together nascent systems of corporate surveillance with an already developed system of state-sponsored surveillance".

'But the fact that they are near-monopoly distributors makes them public utilities and should subject them to more stringent regulations, aimed at preserving competition, innovation, and fair and open universal access'.

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