Concentration of social media ownership ‘form of dictatorship’, says president

The concentration of ownership of social media platforms has been likened by President Michael D Higgins to an “absurd form of dictatorship”.

Appearing on the Late Late Show on Friday night, the president was asked by host Ryan Tubridy about comments he made earlier this month when he suggested billionaires’ attempts to control public debate were “dangerous narcissism.”

Though he didn’t mention Elon Musk by name when he made those comments, it was widely believed that they were criticizing the billionaire’s attempted takeover of Twitter for about $44 billion.

When asked Friday night if he meant Mr. Musk, the president said, “It doesn’t matter who I was referring to,” before expanding on his take on the future of social media and the public debate and the dangers of concentration ownership. owned by a small number of wealthy individuals.

He said that in the past, when it came to the newspaper industry, “you kind of had a code and understanding of what was legitimate commentary and so on”.

He said that if that widely accepted code was violated, there were mechanisms to deal with breaches, but “then you get the development of social media”.

He asked, “Why would anyone say that those who can concentrate the most property should be the people who decide how people should interact with each other in communication?”

He suggested that such a concentration of ownership was, in a sense, such an absurd form of dictatorship, so if you want to have responsible communication, why decide that you would seek out the richest person or group and give them Authority? It seems absurd to me. You don’t have to be a crazy left-wing person to believe that, it’s just about democracy.”

Looking at the broader economic picture closer to home, Mr Higgins also questioned how society developed, saying that “essential matters, such as those related to food, shelter, housing, etc., should never have been seen as something that could be sorted by the market”.

Leave a Comment