- Former White House strategist Steve Bannon told a CNN journalist that the executives of Facebook, Google, and Twitter are “evil.”
- Bannon was responding to questions about US President Donald Trump’s recent tirade against what he perceives as Google’s left-wing bias.
- Bannon also suggested that big data should be taken away from private tech companies and held in a public trust.
Steve Bannon has amplified US President Donald Trump’s war on tech.
Bannon told CNN journalist Oliver Darcy in a phone call on Wednesday that he thinks executives at Facebook, Twitter, and Google are bad for society.
“These people are evil. There is no doubt about that,” Bannon said in a salvo that backs up his former White House boss. He said the likes of Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai are “sociopaths” and “narcissists,” before adding: “These people ought to be controlled, they ought to be regulated.” He also said tech firms “have to be broken up.”
The former White House strategist was responding to questions about Trump locking horns with Google after the president accused the company’s search engine of having a left-wing bias.
Bannon explained Trump’s thinking. “The president often times sees information and thinks it ought to be in the public dialogue,” he told Darcy, adding that he agreed with the “direction” of Trump’s rhetoric.
A public trust for user data
Bannon also floated an idea to weaken the monopoly big tech companies hold over people’s personal data, suggesting that data be held in a public trust. He said:
“I think you take [the data] away from the companies. All that data they have is put in a public trust. They can use it. And people can opt in and opt out. That trust is run by an independent board of directors. It just can’t be that [big tech is] the sole proprietors of this data… I think this is a public good.”
Bannon said he thinks who controls our data will become “one of the biggest domestic issues” in the 2020 presidential election, arguing that “this is going to bring the issue of digital consent front and center” just as the #MeToo movement moved sexual consent into the spotlight.
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