Bill Gates: Social Media Should Stop People Discussing 'Crazy Stuff' Online
Billionaire slams conservative free speech-friendly app Parler for lack of censorship
Billionaire Bill Gates has claimed that social media sites should do more to stop people from discussing "crazy stuff" online.
The second-richest man in the world slammed the new social media app Parler for not censoring content on its platform.
In the run-up to the election, many conservatives started flocking to Parler.
The platform is a social media app that's been billed as a free speech rival to the left-leaning duopolies of Twitter and Facebook.
But Bill Gates has taken issue with the lack of censorship on the platform, claiming it allows users to discuss “crazy stuff.”
If somebody uses Parler, they are saying, “I like crazy stuff,” Gates argued Tuesday during a discussion at The New York Times DealBook Summit.
“If you want Holocaust denial, hey, Parler is going to be great for you,” Gates claimed.
Both Facebook and Twitter have been widely criticized for suppressing content on their respective platforms.
Initially claiming to only block content deemed to be false information, the companies have recently been restricting certain content at will, true or not.
In October, Facebook and Twitter sparked outrage by censoring several New York Post reports that allegedly exposed potential illegal corruption involving Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Neither company provided a genuine reason for blocking the content that was confirmed as legitimate by multiple official sources.
Parler, however, does not police any content on its platform.
Parler, which was founded by Mercer, John Matze and Jared Thomson in 2018, was the most downloaded app for both Android and iPhone users during the week of Nov. 9 to Nov. 15, according to SensorTower, a marketing intelligence company that tracks app downloads.
The app has attracted the likes of Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, and celebrities Kristie Alley and Scott Baio.
On Nov. 12, Wired reported that Parler grew from 4.5 million users to more than 8 million, compared to Twitter’s 330 million users and Facebook’s more than 2 billion.
Many high-profile conservatives have been urging their followers to join Parler after Twitter and Facebook have been adding alerts to posts that spread "misinformation."
Gates, who has been criticized by online pushing himself as a self-elected coronavirus "expert," said there needs to be regulation to manage "misinformation" on social media platforms.
“Facebook services are the primary way people access news and they get drawn in to more and more extreme stories, including some of these anti-vaccines or conspiracy things,” Gates said at DealBook.
“So that person who hasn’t started out saying, ‘I want crazy stuff,’ they get drawn down and see things that are very titillating and that is where it is almost a human weakness,” Gates said.
Asking social media platforms to “be the arbiter of all these things is pretty tough,” Gates admitted.
But over the last few months, particularly around medical information, Gates said social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have been doing a "better job" at screening posts and shutting down content.
“I think we are sort of finding our way, which will be either leave it alone all the time or strict liability, which you know if you got strict liability, it’s not clear that they can even stay in business,” Gates said at DealBook.
Strict liability is a legal construct that holds a party responsible for injuries caused by its actions or products, without the need for negligence or fault.