Former Google CEO: Social networks serving as 'amplifiers for idiots and crazy people'

Former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt predicted social networks will be regulated "unless the industry gets its act together in a really clever way," with Schmidt arguing that the context of such platforms serve as "amplifiers for idiots and crazy people."

“The context of social networks serving as amplifiers for idiots and crazy people is not what we intended,” Schmidt said at a virtual conference hosted by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

“Unless the industry gets its act together in a really clever way, there will be regulation,” he added.


Schmidt, who still is one of Google's largest shareholders after leaving the board of Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. last year, also said that an antitrust lawsuit the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed against the search giant on Tuesday was misguided, but still could result in regulation, given increased scrutiny of the industry.

The DOJ alleged Google is illegally operating a monopoly on search and search advertising in a lawsuit filed in District of Columbia federal court.

The suit argues that Google, through exclusive contracts with mobile phone companies, is at a decided advantage over its competition when phone makers preload its search engine onto devices using Google Android's operating system.

More than 90 percent of all internet searches go through Google and one of its subsidiaries, YouTube.

Schmidt argued during the conference that monopoly charge was misdirected.

“I would be careful about these dominance arguments. I just don’t agree with them,” Schmidt said. “Google’s market share is not 100 percent.”

Legal analysts say this first salvo may take years to decide in court.

Google became the third tech company to reach $1 trillion in worth earlier this year, joining Microsoft and Apple.