[governance] [JNC - Forum] George Soros comments on Google and Facebook at Davos

parminder parminder at itforchange.net
Sat Jan 27 03:50:10 EST 2018

On Saturday 27 January 2018 01:09 PM, Ian Peter wrote:
> Well worth a read. After a few paragraphs dealing with other
> substantive issues, Soros hones in on the monopolistic powers of
> Google and Facebook and the threats they pose.  He doesn't mince words

Yes, he doesn't mince words, but unfortunately those who need to be the
real watchdogs, the sectoral or IG civil society, does.... and that is
the biggest problem... There is big funding in CS from the same
monopolistic powers, and revolving doors with them too... And if one
speaks up, there are enough direct and subtle ways to shut her/him up...
Hope one day the IG CS will really look back upon itself, introspect and
begin doing what its legitimate role is... Ian, as a respected IG CS
elder, I'd invite you to begin this exercise, and many of us will
cooperate all we can...

In the below quote from Soros's speech, he compares digital monopolies
with oil companies -- but lets ask ourselves, can in the environment (or
any other social) movement the civil society have the same cosy
relationship as the IG CS has with these exploitative digital
companies.... But that precise question is most unmentionable, even when
everyone knows it is just about emperor's clothes that everyone really
knows fully well about, and the corridors are agog with whispers. There
could even be repercussions on me for saying this again -- I am already
imagining some. ....


    Companies earn their profits by exploiting their environment. Mining
    and oil companies exploit the physical environment; social media
    companies exploit the social environment. This is particularly
    nefarious because social media companies influence how people think
    and behave without them even being aware of it. This has
    far-reaching adverse consequences on the functioning of democracy,
    particularly on the integrity of elections.


And then he says;

    They claim they are merely distributing information. 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.


Well, it so happens that Just Net Coalition said the same thing exactly
4 years back, in its founding principles
<https://justnetcoalition.org/delhi-declaration> .... But the dominant
CS was all tch tch . (No matter that most progressive groups from most
other areas of global CS joined in.... )  They wont touch that kind of
thing with a barge pole.... Most did not collaborate, and till today
JNC, while it does a lot of work, it is all voluntary, and with not a
single paisa of funding .... This is "structure" my dear....

And hold on, JNC also seem not been able to get even one guy into IGF
MAG, even when one or more have always been forwarded as a nominee for
CSCG. Often JNC nominee is the only one refused.. Bad guys JNC folks
are, right! And then people will clap at Soros's bold speech ,and then
conveniently go back to their works...

Sorry for the cynicism, my critique is also entirely structural, merrily
and happily made, and no personal offence to anyone please....

> - and he doesn't underestimate the societal impacts of what is going on.
> Ian Peter
> https://www.georgesoros.com/2018/01/25/remarks-delivered-at-the-world-economic-forum/
> _______________________________________________
> Forum mailing list
> Forum at justnetcoalition.org
> http://mail.justnetcoalition.org/listinfo/forum

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