Former Google CEO, Who Paid $1.65 Billion for YouTube, Calls Social Media “Amplifier for Idiots”

Eric Schmidt has developed a bit of a reputation for his gaffs and faux pas, but it seems like the former Google CEO, who once wielded vast powers in the world of tech, has outdone himself with his latest hot take. According to Bloomberg, Schmidt has referred to social networks as “amplifiers for idiots”, implying that he feels like Google’s investments in this area might just be somewhat misplaced.

This is pretty interesting when you consider the fact that Schmidt personally oversaw the purchase of YouTube, worth about $650 million at the time, for $1 billion more than its actual value. While the purchase most definitely paid off with YouTube bringing in billions of dollars a year, Schmidt seems to regret the wider societal impact that social networks have ended up having on the internet as well as the general manner in which people tend to talk to one another.

YouTube has been trying to crack down on misinformation for quite some time now, with efforts particularly picking up during the current covid-19 pandemic, and Schmidt seems to be implying that this problem is the fault of the user rather than of the algorithms that have been put in place by the social network that specializes in video streaming and the like.

Schmidt also commented on the legal action that the US department of justice recently took against Google’s supposed underhanded tactics to build and sustain its monopoly, but seeing as Schmidt was a board member for Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. and considering he is still a major shareholder in the company, his opinions on the matter might just be somewhat biased. Regardless, Schmidt is not particularly relevant in the industry after his retirement, so these comments are more of a humorous incident rather than anything that might have an impact.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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