George Soros: Mark Zuckerberg Should Not Be in Control of Facebook

The social media company is going to get Trump re-elected — because it’s good for business.

Comments: 235

  1. Even beyond the points that Soros makes, there are sound reasons to break up Facebook and change its leadership: their unregulated vertical integration hurts emerging competition and because it's a virtual monopoly it's not good for the market long-term. History shows that breaking up these huge conglomerates will actually fost more long-term growth, especially now that AI, 5G, and IoT are starting to take off.

  2. @JUHallCLU No change is going to happen under this administration.

  3. Zuckerberg is still stranded in college, he's not dealt with the monster he created. Facebook is not able to control the misinformation and disinformation it spews out. The result is a polluted and toxic political and social environment.

  4. @Postette "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." Facebook isn't forced to deal with mis- and dis-information; it is a choice they make because propagating it is so lucrative.

  5. @RS Until the infrastructure they depend on to function collapses as a result of a catastrophic implosion of society as we know it. I dread more and more every day that there will be a seismic shift in society marked by extreme social upheaval and instability of much of the infrastructure we currently take for granted.

  6. @Postette - Zuckerberg and Sandberg desperately want to be the cool kids, which they'll never be, despite their money and power. It's sad and, worse, it's dangerous.

  7. While the points Mr. Soros makes are good ones, I can’t help but thinking that he has an issue with the outcome of the model, not the model itself. Had the results supported his favorite Democratic candidate, this piece would never have appeared in these pages.

  8. @Don L. This might just be the most honest and truthful words I have ever read in these comments over the years ! Well done.

  9. @Don L. cynical? so, no one does anything for the public good? isnt that the message trump and the russians would have us believe? no such thing as good or altruism or doing something because its right - its all a transaction based on what you get our of it

  10. @Don L. This is a reasoned and civil point to raise. The problem still remains though - the "model itself" - and it is an emerging crisis for all citizens. Democrats also, under multiple administrations, have declined to regulate tech, to the harm of their constituency.

  11. I agree that Facebook's profit-making interests in no way align with the needs of democracy or the common good, despite the company's feel-good platitudes. But let's be honest: the NY Times saw its readership increase in the wake of President Trump's election too. In the sickest way imaginable, Mr. Trump is good for the media business, whether that's social media or cable media. He's the ultimate "if it bleeds it ledes." Replacing Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg won't change Facebook's profitable business model or the media appeal of demagogues like Mr. Trump. But governmental regulation can 1) break up their monopoly, and 2) compel them to be more transparent with how their algorithms monetize disinformation and promote hate speech. Whether our elected officials will tackle such regulation is another question, given that Republicans seem all too eager to propagate the kind of lies that have helped make Facebook profitable.

  12. @jrinsc How do they have a monopoly, exactly? There are many other social media apps and programs available also.

  13. @jrinsc Actually the younger people are not so keen on FB. The older folks, Fox News watchers are the audience. They/we are on the way out, luckily, but that doesn't mean that FB should be allowed to further corrode what's left of our democracy.

  14. Basically we no longer have a Democracy. Plenty of blame to go around. Now what?

  15. @Nancy If beauty is truth and truth is beauty - make beauty and speak truth, I suppose. Expect the same from others and put your support, financial and otherwise, behind those people and corps. who haven't completely caved or lost their moral compasses. And don't lose hope in the collective power of good individuals. Especially if you are one - march on :-)

  16. @Nancy. Secession is the only thing short of a civil war that I can think of. I won't be part of a corrupt, fascist theocracy, that's completely un-American. I cannot understand Zuckerberg even meeting with Trump. How can he not see what kind of person Trump is? While I'm at it, is anyone more naive than Peter Thiel? All billionaires missing brain cells, somehow.

  17. @Nancy The French Revolution comes to mind.

  18. Facebook makes money by selling data about the people who, often unwittingly, use its various platforms . Some of the data is real, some is derived. People think Facebook is free - It is not. The vast profits it makes come from users who are all giving away their data for sale to the highest bidder. The next time you walk past a shop and get a coupon - they just spied on you They know where you are. The next time yo talk about something, and a related ad pops up on your phone, they just listened to you. At the very least, they should not be able to load Facebook onto very cellphone sold, and you should be able to fully remove it.

  19. @mrc thank you for clarifying that FB is nothing but an old fashioned phone book, which now can give the highest bidders everything from your political leanings, shoe size, favored hairstyles, who and what you love and hate and the list goes on and on. Its the greatest cheapest marketing scheme of all time, and billions fall for it so that they can feel alive. The fantasy world created by FB is just another link in this country's decent into darkness. With our resources, talent and wealth, we are far more behaving like the dark ages, then those without science or access to media did in the actual "dark ages". If you have a FB account, Zuck owns your soul. Count on it.

  20. Let Mr.Soros organize a buy out of Facebook and then he can run it in any way he chooses. That is the way a free market system works and he knows it. You cannot fault Zuckerberg for developing relationships that help his company and its shareholders.

  21. @Milton Lewis - Of course we can fault Zuckerberg. It may not do any good, but we can fault him. Ethics are in very short supply in the CEO world and self-regulation is a very scarce M.O. in that world. Painful though it may be to Wall Street, we need more regulations, not fewer.

  22. what a shock. Zuck is willing to do whatever it takes. He did this to the V twins to begin with. There will never be enough power for these men. This will not end.

  23. Facebook is the Pandora's box that has been opened. I don't think FB adds any value to our society. In this once instance, though, people actually have a lot more power than they realize. Just stop using FB. Trust me, your life won't be impacted in the slightest. Having said that, even though I agree with most of what Mr. Soros is saying (in the damage that FB is causing), he is making some serious unfounded accusations of collusions here, bordering on libel. If he has any evidence, he should present it.

  24. @Santa Zuckerberg had a private meeting with Trump in the White House. That doesn't ring any alarm bells after what happened in 2016? If Warren or Sanders is elected, anti-trust actions might be taken against FB. So it is in Zuck's interest for Trump to win and he has the platform to make it happen.

  25. @Santa I totally underestimated how freeing it would feel to delete my FB account. And how little curiosity I have about those "friends" I left behind. I know how to reach my true friends and family, and they know how to reach me.

  26. Presidents meet with CEOs all the time. Tim Cook at Apple has had several private meetings with President Trump.

  27. I'm glad Soros had a great time in my home country (Switzerland) and schmoozed around at a cocktail party with Facebook executives. Why should Facebook care about Soros' opinion?

  28. @Jamie Do you think Facebook is the intended audience of this article?

  29. @Jamie Thinking citizens care and know George Soros as a great man who has long advocated and enabled an open society, but while citizens may differ in our opinions we should be reliant on facts.

  30. @Jamie Wasn't Trump there too at Davos?

  31. Sorry George, but I actually believe our citizens are smarter and better able to filter through the propaganda from each than do you. Your candidate lost last time and the Democrats are well on their way to nominating a loser for the 2020 election. This has nothing to do with Facebook, rather it’s due the DNC, just like last time.

  32. @T Smith -- really? The people who believed in "Pizzagate" and acted upon that were better able to filter the propaganda? Come on.

  33. @T Smith Not, they're not. People buy whatever Fakebook sells to them, especially the Trumpers.

  34. @T Smith I disagree. The intelligence of the electorate is at its lowest point ever. The 2016 election proved that.

  35. Trump NEEDS to win re-election to stay out of jail, if nothing else (and there’s a lot of else!). If there’s one thing Zuckerberg does NOT need, it’s money. It’s like Churchill regaining sobriety in the morning: if Trump loses the election, he will get sent back upstate to the hoosegow... but Zuck will still be rich.

  36. Facebook is an intrusive program; on ce you log in, it is hard to get out without rebooting. I think it is outrageous that Facebook does not fact check political ads. Shame Zuckerberg!

  37. @Priscilla Alexander Why is fact-checking not the duty of the person reading/watching/listening to it?

  38. @Priscilla Alexander: "I think it is outrageous that Facebook does not fact check political ads." I think it's outrageous that most of the news media does not thoroughly vet their sources before announcing the latest so-called "bombshell".

  39. Really? You did not see the log off option on the bottom of the menu? You don’t have to reboot to get out of FB. People do it all the time because the app is a battery hog.

  40. Gordon Gecko, Greed is Good/God, Affluenza, can’t even have enough... We have a society based on toxic capitalism, and it is literally causing a mass extinction event that includes us.

  41. @Lilly no...no Lilly... capitalism is what will hopefully prevent our "mass extinction". You know, innovation and all that. You know, that system that built the amazing society you live in, where you essentially know none of the privation 99.999999% of all humans from the beginning of time struggled with every day?

  42. @Lilly we deserve it at this point I would say.

  43. @Lilly Thanks, I also believe it is as simple as you say. Humanity has made the lemmings look clever.

  44. Mr. Soros, You're right. Zuckerberg shouldn't be in control of anything and the top corporate officers at Facebook should be removed. Google shouldn't be in control of anything, either. Twitter shouldn't be in control of their platform. The U.S. government should be regulating this industry tightly, preventing these companies in trading in our lives and toying with everything from our emotions to what information we are allowed to see, in an effort to disinform and influence for a myriad of purposes. Reuters had an exclusive piece yesterday about Israeli spyware that apparently wound its way onto Facebook. That spyware is supposed to be for government use only. Whose accounts have been compromised and to what effect among our politicians? We are lab rats in a cage. Time to shut down the lab.

  45. @Rima Regas Exactly! We should have a new federal government entity, Department of Truth, tightly regulating what is put on these platforms. Is this what we really want?

  46. @JG As problematic as some of the "what" that is put on the platforms (all of them) can be, it isn't simply a matter of policing truth. It is also a matter of regulating what is taken from the consumer and how consumers are targeted in turn. Disinformation campaigns, opinion influencing and a host of things that are invisible to the user are going on and there are absolutely no rules. That is wrong. We still have no idea how foreign powers are leveraging Facebook and Twitter, not to mention the Trump campaign apparatus, All we have are the words of Zuckerberg and Dorsey. That is reprehensible.

  47. @Rima Regas Opinion influencing was occurring long before Facebook and Twitter - it's called advertising. But if you are talking about our personal data being trafficked without our consent (or buried in the legalese of some user agreement) I'm all for more regulation. At a certain point we put our faith in the people who vote have doing their research and filtering out the misinformation and are making an educated choice.

  48. Yes, but why should Zuckerberg be any different than the legions of Trump enablers? Because we are quickly becoming a banana republic, if anyone out there cares. That's why.

  49. Trump isn’t good for business, for the U.S. the world or anything else, not even himself as his crimes will catch up with him.

  50. Facebook should not become the truth police. It’s a platform, not a regulator - where anyone (clutch your pearls), including Donald Trump, can post whatever they want. Even lies! Don’t like it? Stick your head in the sand. The internet has brought us mass communication on a scale never before possible. There is no returning that genie to the bottle and no reasonable regulation that will not seriously impinge on first amendment freedoms.

  51. Wait, George Soros thinks powerful and wealthy people should not help the politicians they favor. Seriously? Really?

  52. To anyone still on FB (or Instagram): by being a target of their advertisers, you are feeding the beast. They are making money off you. Personally, I can no longer stomach that. Life is fine without them, if not better.

  53. Business is not immoral. It is amoral. A logical approach; allegiance to shareholders; etc can be very practical. Emotion has little role. But when business intersects with moral ethical issues...money wins...because that is the linga francs of business... businesses do not try to sidestep ethical issues...It’s often just not part of their calculus..

  54. I certainly agree that Facebook is trying to get Trump re-elected, and that this can only happen with Zuckerberg's consent. While I think Mr Soros has every right as a citizen to advocate against this, and every opportunity through his wealth and connections to have his advocacy in the Times, he also has something most Americans lack: the ability to fund alternatives. The world needs better competition against Facebook. Does Soros walk that walk or does he just want the government to come up with a way to magically reclassify Facebook's shares? This should pass the Trumpist Senate exactly how? Or should the Justice Department handle it? Every investor in Facebook has always known that Zuckerberg is CEO For Life. Soros has surely always known the same thing. If Facebook is in service of Trump then so be it: give everyone else a better place to go, and let them be the Trumpist Social Network in competition with a new, responsible, fact-based one.

  55. It's simply not possible for Facebook to verify everything. Think about what a monumental task that would be ... in all countries, in all languages? Not possible. For better or worse, their stance is the only reasonable one.

  56. @Ginger really? the largest social media (computer) company in the world can write a simple flagging computer program? could probably be done by any techie with a computer and half a brain.

  57. @Ginger Too much work huh? That's a cop out, they must do much better than this.

  58. @Ginger No one told them to grow beyond their capacity to manage their business. In particular, Facebook has the capacity to wreak havoc in countries without a free press.

  59. Facebook, as constituted, is a national security threat. It should be treated as nuclear material - strictly regulated, monitored, surveilled and contained. No unvetted news feeds or political ads should be allowed unless they meet the highest of journalistic standards. If they don't comply, they should be decommissioned, shuddered and decontaminated. Ditto for Twitter or any future iteration of these platforms for fascism and genocide.

  60. @Anam Cara Facebook is heavily used by US law enforcement. So, it's working as designed. They will never shut it down, because they are a top tier customer.

  61. I don't use Facebook -- for ANYthing, and I assure any doubters that my life is just fine. There are other ways to accomplish the things people use FB for. When people ask why I'm not on FB, I've always answered, "Facebook is evil," (and this was BEFORE the 2016 election). FB is a company that, at various times over the years, has breached the security of its users' data, claimed copyright ownership of all content posted on its platform (they rolled that back in the face of an uproar), and used the First Amendment as cover to keep all manner of dishonest content on the internet. It's default position is "lie and deny" until it's forced to backtrack. They sell its users' data not to the highest bidder (not that that's acceptable), but to ALL bidders. And while its executives have become billionaires multiple times over, and the users whose data they sell to enrich their own coffers receive a cut of ZERO. I like to think no one would maintain a relationship with a person who treated them thusly. Why is anyone eager to maintain one with a company that does so?

  62. @D Price it was almost impossible for me to start to to date on news in my program, organize and attend group meetings and otherwise function normally in graduate school without the use of Facebook and Facebook Messenger. It may not be a necessity in your life but I'm sure you can imagine other people's lives may be different.

  63. @D Price In addition, Facebook is a complete waste of time and is designed for narcissistic teenagers. Why would any adult who could read a book be reading Facebook?

  64. @D Price Irrelevant what you do re facebook. You are not the target audience, so your behavior doesn't matter to its influence.

  65. This whole argument misses the forest for the trees. Facebook does not 'post' content. They are simply the forum for which individuals post their own content. Facebook bears no liability in this. People should be free to express themselves how they see fit. The whole idea behind the 1st amendment (that I understand doesn't apply to private business) is that the only way to truly negate wrongful/hateful/misleading ideas is to expose them to the light and undercut them with the truth. You don't blame the bathroom stall for the words written on it; don't blame Facebook for the postings of individuals they have no (and should continue to have no) control over.

  66. @Justin The First Amendment does not give you immunity from legal liability for damages for knowing or reckless defamation. That is § 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996. Facebook has complete and total control over what it allows to be posted. Claims it is too complicated to police its own business are lame excuses. Just as the claim that the owner of the bathroom cannot decide what language in the stall to paint over. If Facebook cannot stand on its own two feet and take personal responsibility for its actions, it does not deserve the legal immunity it has under § 230.

  67. @Justin But Facebook doesn't just passively pass on posts from one person to their friends and followers, as a common carrier would be expected to. They use algorithms to amplify, mute, and monetize posts, and the types of posts that are amplified the most are the ones that spread the lies. Facebook IS responsible for that, because they are injecting their hand into how far the information spreads.

  68. @Justin Look to the Law Justin....and the Philosophy behind it.

  69. Thanks so much, Mr. Sonos. Please keep on speaking up and working for a better world in these troubled times. You are my hero.

  70. I left FB after the election. It has changed from a family/friend - friendly platform and has descended into the swamp along with other greedy entities who favor money over country. Zuck at some point is going to be held accountable & my hope is that it will be severe enough to discourage like-mind folks. Families no longer have prominence on FB and now have no venue for just family matters.

  71. @JJ No venue for just family matters? Try the kitchen table. The telephone. Email. A restaurant over dinner. Your relationships on the FacePlace are not now, nor were they ever, real. The FacePlace simply used our own human nature to convince us that they were, much to humanity's detriment as evidenced by our extreme polarization and our inability to hold face-to-face conversations with friends, family, and adversaries alike. That you feel unable to address family matters without FacePlace's intervention speaks volumes of the harm that has been done.

  72. @Bob Loblaw, S Choir Step back Bob. If I have to explain why I used FB for family and friends, you're a non-starter. I have never addressed any family issue on FB. It was simply a means to see photos. You may go now.

  73. There already exists a forum in which false and otherwise harmful statements are policed: libel and defamation law. It's extremely difficult for a politician to sue a rival for slander and win in US courts, but do we really want Facebook to use a different standard than the courts do in regulating political advertising?

  74. @Douglas Scheinberg Sorry -- that's incorrect. "There already exists a forum in which false and otherwise harmful statements are policed: libel and defamation law." That applies to publishers. Tech companies argued that they were just passive platforms -- NOT publishers -- so that they should be exempt. That's exactly the Section 230 issue that George Soros is raising.

  75. I've said this before, and i'll say it again. The problem isn't Facebook. It's the American people. Users control the content on their Facebook page. I don't get any news from Facebook. It's a social media site nothing more. If you receive news, whether it's true or not from Facebook, then i feel sorry for you. I didn't have a FB page until 2012. I was able to attend my 30th High School reunion, which, otherwise, I would not have known about. I keep in touch with my former Military friends and my high school friends and that's all i use it for. If you are naive enough to believe political content on the site, (and apparently a lot of people are. then the problem is people.

  76. Holding Zuckerberg accountable here is like holding Alexander Graham Bell accountable for every lie told over a telephone. Put the blame where it belongs, on the poster themselves. I also think this is overblown, people on social media groups tend to seek out groups and people that they mostly agree with already on a number of things. "Friends" are blocked more than mind's are changed on these platforms as well

  77. @Norville T. Johnstone Utter nonsense. This is the specious argument that Facebook is a content-neutral platform like phone lines and as such should not be held accountable for content carried on it, in the name of free speech. The thing is, Facebook is anything but a content neutral platform. It is a private, commercial information (and misinformation) dissemination machine. Phone lines are considered a "common carrier" because they are un-influenced channels for communication. FB's use of algorithms to amplify, mute, and monetize content is completely antithetical to the notion of a common carrier.

  78. @Jamie Wrong. Facebook may be good at putting things in front of me but I still choose my friends, My groups, my pages and what I do or do not like. Since I have a diverse group of friends I get Trump article and AOC articles thrown my way. About equally as well. Do you hold the Times responsible for every ad they publish and the accuracy in all of them? Of course not, no one does.

  79. Mr.Soros has a right to his views. And, the right to publish them. He has also funded PACs and political campaigns, despite his fears of others “buying elections”. He made his billions investing and now he is scolding a corporate executive for trying to “make money”. It’s the ultimate irony.

  80. @Joe Yoh Soros made his money without destroying a democracy, spreading outright lies, and inciting violence abroad. Soros has never given a platform to white nationalists, xenophobes and racists. Soros has given hundreds of millions to philanthropy and pledged his fortune to charity. And yes, Soros has scolded executives for making money. Great! Money doesn't equal morality. Zuckerberg...has given less than 1%of his fortune and can't even pledge to be decent.

  81. @Joe Yoh Two critical differences. Mr Soros campaign spending is the reason why Citizens United should be overruled but until then he is one among many big money influencers in elections, FB stands alone in its category. Point two, FB directly makes money off elections, Mr Soros and his ilk do not.

  82. @Joe Yoh I do not think Soros has a problem with Zuckerberg making money...I think he has a problem with him making money by helping to spread false information.

  83. Just because George Soros says "Mark Zuckerberg should not be in control of Facebook" doesn't mean he doesn't have a different purpose for making this statement. After all, like other public-figure businessmen, he also knows he cannot say publicly that the citizenry of America should not be in democratic control of the government because democracy is (very) bad for business. The multibillionaire business class knows it has a very serious problem on its hands with the popularity of Bernie Sanders and even Elizabeth Warren, and this problem must be eradicated with all the power the multibillionaire business class has at its fingertips—the typewriters (word processors, actually) and microphones of ALL of "mainstream media." Soros is hardly worried about Trump—because, as he says, Trump is good for the multibillionaire business class. Soros is worried that power will be taken from him and used by the public for other means and ends not to his liking. Look, when you've been running the country and much of the world along with your multibillionaire business clubhouse friends for the last several decades, you're not going to give up this control without putting up a nasty fight. And this nastiness is cloaked in all sorts of other words—which is just a lot more of the usual propaganda flooding over this populace in the form of corporate-owned and corporate-sponsored "mainstream media."

  84. @Tom Wilde Facebook and his assistant Sheryl smeared George Sorors and minorities. What more do you need to know about all of there false news and false advertising. Facebook is a traitor to America. Troll me if you want but the data supports my statements.

  85. When Mr. Soros speaks, people listen. Or jump. What about currency markets? What does the future of Libra mean for currency markets, and the importance of the US dollar? Isn't that what Mr. Soros is really concerned about? No one is a better currency trader, market maker than Mr. Soros. But he can't make or break Libra, and that must be pretty darn threatening. Threatening enough, in the midst of a faux impeachment trial, and world wide health crisis, to call for Mr. Zuckerberg's removal some three years after the fact. Does Mr. Schumer's daughter work somewhere new now? Three years and the invention of Libra changes things, doesn't it? If you can build a people-up movement, with the power to bank and transact financially, across markets and currencies, without intermediaries who parasite off little people, what does than mean for Mr. Soros and his wealth? All the other corporatist oligarchs? Facebook is evolving. The vast number of Democratic candidates using it to drive their elections is proof of the hypocrisy within the Democracy Alliance. The media had more to do with Mr. Trump's first win than any bot on Facebook or from Ukraine. Keep it up with this nonsense and you'll do it all over again. For Mr. Zuckerberg's sake, I hope he finds an alternative to Ms. Sandberg soon. Her interests have never been, nor are they now, aligned with Facebook's growth trajectory. Just look what real leadership, a valued right hand, has done for Mr. Musk.

  86. Thank you for speaking truth to power. If the FCC could do one thing to regulate the awfulness of FB I think it should be removing anonymous user profiles. However I also agree that Zuckerberg's Machiavellian intentions need to be stopped.

  87. There sure is a lot of money being spent on misinformation. To me, the question is how can we trust an elected official who wins office on that basis?

  88. @David Bible We can't. Witness the current federal administration.

  89. Whether or not Mr Soros has interests opposed to Mr. Zuckerberg’s is not relevant. Whether Mr. Zuckerberg makes money as a result of Trump’s presidency isn't relevant. The question is this: does Facebook have a legal responsibility to ferret out false and misleading advertisements? What about posts by individuals? Other sites, Like YouTube, have a process whereby individuals negatively effected by postings can request the material be removed, and it happens pretty quick. Facebook should do the same. Facebook should scan posts prior to the fact for false and misleading content. They should refuse contend that is generally known to be false or intended to do harm to other people. They should have a dispute resolution mechanism for those harmed by posts who complain and demand examination of the posted content. If that costs money, then facebook can charge more for advertising; employ more people. And behave in an ethical manner consistent with our free speech laws which do not allow hate speech, do not allow you to yell fire in a crowded theater, etc. Deliberately interfering in our elections and acting to facilitate such behavior is a crime and it's high time we start jailing, fining, impeaching and removing from office the criminals who engage in such opprobrious, un-American, conduct.

  90. @Joe Becker Applying your logic, if we rid all social media of all the posts which negatively affect Trump, the internet and the mainstream media will be all but empty. In a free society, you can't police and remove pro-Trump stuff but allow and promote anti-Trump stuff.

  91. @Joe Becker The NYTimes checks on line contributions as they should. The Justice of the Supreme Court, as unwilling as he is to insert himself in the Impeachment matter declined a question about revealing the name of the whistle blower... as he should. I wish he would make himself a judge....but I understand his unwillingness.....We've already had a President "promoted" into Office by the Supreme Court.......As for Zuckerberg,he is a willing arm of this President....At some point he will be thrown under the bus if his voice is louder or becomes more important than that of the present holder of the Oval Office. the pattern is unmistakable

  92. It was the Chief Justice and he was the presiding officer, not a judge. He declined to read the question because it violated a rule of the Senate, not because he made a judgement. As the CJ told Senator Schumer today: I am not a senator and I do not tell the Senate what to do. I also do not get a vote. That is what they pay you to do.

  93. Getting rid of individuals is not the answer. Publishers like Facebook need to be held responsible by law for what goes on their platforms.

  94. Section 230 should definitely be modified. Any outside links on Facebook that point to lies should be removed along with the users who posted it, or this will allow the company will be exposed to lawsuits. How zuck can look himself in the mirror when he runs a system that has caused people's deaths is amazing. He is in total control and could make Facebook a safe space. With zuck and trump, truth is not an option.

  95. @larry b Another flaw with FB is that it allows outright lies, unchecked. This has cause pre-trial prejudice, etc. The negative un-factual branding potential using FB and other social media is outright dangerous. People are highly susceptible to manipulation by many on the platform, and the platforms enable this manipulation.

  96. @JUHallCLU Yes, What would be the value of a system that all users can trust completely?

  97. Since the government has not yet seen it prudent to hold social platforms accountable to the same standards as news platforms, which require fine-tuning to say the least, then it is up to each one of us to speak truth to power. I have already deleted my FB account. But not everyone needs to go this far. Indeed, if a grass-roots movement were to arise by scheduling a day, say July 4th, as a black out day for FB that would certainly turn heads. To implement this form of protest all everyone who wishes to join in would have to do is disable their account the entire day of July 4th. If millions of users did this, even for one day, I think it would certainly send a clear message to the board of FB that we as the users disprove of their reckless and irresponsible attitude towards false and incendiary propaganda.

  98. I am fascinated by how much influence the environment of Facebook and Twitter have on people. I am not ignorant to social media but have never participated in those environments. We all have to remember that no one is being forced to be on social media sites any more than people are not required to read the New York Times or watch Fox News. We want to act like, or believe, that the news media lacks bias and everything they produce is true but in reality they are no different than Facebook. At least with Facebook you do not have people at the top deciding what content you will see based on their beliefs and biases. We have to stop giving people outs for the decisions they make and the actions they take. They are solely responsible for their own actions. And that includes what they choose to believe or not believe from what they see, hear, and read.

  99. @DC We may have to really start talking about the addictive effect all of these platforms supply. Worthy of discussion I think

  100. Thank you, Mr. Soros, for your edification of this issue and your dedication to strengthening Democracy - not just in the U.S., but throughout the world. Please don't stop.

  101. No, Mr. Soros. Take your billions elsewhere. You use your money and positions to influence social and economic policies, policies which are in direct conflict with Trump. Zuckerberg is doing just fine, running the company he created and founded.

  102. @JP the company he stole.

  103. January 31, 2020 So its let the seller beware! Nonsense - let the leaders that know give counsel and remedy to transnational / transaction culture -with profits and then asks ourselves can be live better and so thanks for Soros and his enlighten talents for the best way of American operational success.

  104. Dear Mark Z., I get it. You're still on top of the world. Facebook is a huge company, and you control it. You must feel invincible. But please note that the following privately-held companies were all nationalized at some point in their existence for a variety of reasons: General Motors Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Citigroup GMAC Smith and Wesson, Co. Conrail and Amtrak Continental Illinois Bank and Trust Resolution Trust Corp. the entire Airport Security industry after 9/11 major swaths of the coal, mining and railroad industries in the mid-century. This list goes on, but I think you get the point. You may think that the more powerful Facebook gets, the more secure it is. Wrong. One day, the American Congress and Senate will wake up and realize you're controlling weapons-grade communication data and take corrective measures to ensure the safety of Americans and the country's political systems. Thanks for reading this.

  105. Those companies went bankrupt. I am pretty sure the US has never taken over a firm that had the same market value position in Fortune 500 that Facebook has.

  106. Thank you so much for this article. I can't understand why any Democrat, or anyone who cares about democracy in this country, still uses Facebook. It's the ultimate triumph of corporate power, profits over people, that is the central domestic national security threat we face. Divest, people. Do not continue to make Zukerberg richer and our country poorer.

  107. Very informative. Thanks for publishing this!

  108. The only “news” I get from Facebook is that someone I went to elementary school with became a grandparent. I do not want Mark Zuckerberg, George Soros, or anyone else deciding what I cannot read. We also do not need anyone to tell us that Facebook tries to make money. So does the New York Times. So does George Soros.

  109. Look out below, George! Those are crocodile tears falling on you, shed by those of us who have no sympathy for people who were late to the social media party. While you and Hillary were busy fawning over each other, the technology train left the station without you. Better luck next time.

  110. I'm trying to figure out what's more self-serving & hypocritical - Mr Soros' Op-Ed, or the editor's description of him as a "philanthropist" only? Mark Zuckerberg must have had a good laugh after being criticized by George Soros for only being interested in what's "good for business"!

  111. Sandberg said Facebook wants to “make the world a better place” while Trump claims to want to “make America great again”. Sounds like they’re both on the same page to me but, ironically or not, both equally unworthy of a single “like”.

  112. And who's going to censure Fox news when the president spews all his lies pre-superbowl interview? You're barking up the wrong tree unless telling lies are outlawed. The antidote or inoculation to telling lies is education so most educated people won't be swayed. But education is not in the liars best interest, is it?

  113. He owns the company. Build your own if you don't like what he is doing. Whining and complaining is the mantra of the Democrats, which is why they are nowhere.

  114. Trump is going to lose the POTUS election on Nov 3rd in a landslide vote & turn-out, electoral votes and popular votes, it's inevitable at this stage in his despicable game ...and yes: even with Russian interference, whatever level of gerrymandering and voter suppression played hard by the GOP, who today, are an full-fledged organized crime family

  115. What might happen if we all quit Facebook? Why not?!

  116. Choosing between George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg, hmm. Like asking one if she prefers arsenic or ricin. Each is so morally compromised it makes one's head spin.

  117. George Soros is shamelessly asking for Facebook to censors the free speech of an American citizen, most notably that of the President of the United States. Facebook is allowing all people and all political candidates level access to the same advertising tools, without discrimination, and without favor toward the Trump team. Every candidate and every product sold online and advertised embellishes facts, and to start policing advertising would put the entire industry out of business. Besides what is not right for Soros is right for at least half of American people, so taking the path of having Soros what I should read on Facebook is downright fascist. I don't want Soros to decide what I read on Facebook, or anywhere online or in print, because I disagree with all his positions. If Trump team is doing a better job on Facebook than other candidates, we live in a country where competition is king and the best wins. Nobody prevents his opponents to outdo him. Trump has been slandered and slaughtered on Twitter, with multiple fake Twitter Trump accounts passing as his own spewing nonsense and lies. Where was Soros to complain about Twitter allowing the lies and exaggerations of the so-called Resistance? A policy works only when equally applied both to the party and speech you agree with and to the one(s) you oppose. I respect Facebook and Zuckererg for now cowing to Soros.

  118. @Idealist "I don't want Soros to decide what I read on Facebook, or anywhere online or in print, because I disagree with all his positions." So you disagree with each and every position Soros has? Do you even have an idea what they are?

  119. The more you talk about breaking up Facebook, the more you will push them to help the Trump campaign. Trump makes deals and he will make a deal with Facebook that if they allow unsubstantiated pro Trump information on the platform he won't bother them when he gets another term. Did we learn nothing from Ukraine? Why can't the solution be that every political ad, video, podcast put up on Facebook state clearly who the authors are. Whether a campaign or an individual. If you are proud to support your candidate you should be proud to put your name on it. This should be a democracy that functions in the light with tolerance. Allowing people to operate in the dark flames division.

  120. @sec Facebook moved to a policy something like this. Allegedly, there is a database that lets you look up the entities paying for ads. It is less helpful than it might be because the names are not very transparent. (A bit like regulating shell companies?)

  121. I will advocate for Zuck to back into the shadows and relinquish all his power as soon as the writer of this article will does the same... This is flat out ridiculous that Soros thinks facebook is too powerful as he throws money all around the world in an open effort to destabilize governments and currencies. What is good for the goose is good for the gander Soros.

  122. George Soros is shamelessly asking for Facebook to censor the free speech of an American citizen, most notably that of the President of the United States. Facebook allows all people and all political candidates equal access to the same advertising tools, without discrimination, and without favor toward the Trump team. Every candidate and every product sold online and advertised embellishes facts, and to start policing advertising would put the entire industry out of business. Besides what is not right for Soros it is right for millions of other people, about half of American people, so taking the path of having Soros decide what we should read on Facebook is downright fascist. I don't want Soros to decide what I read on Facebook, or anywhere online or in print, because I disagree with all his positions. Trump has been slandered and slaughtered on social media and especially on Twitter, with multiple fake Twitter Trump accounts passing as his own spewing nonsense and lies. Where was Soros to complain about Twitter allowing the lies and exaggerations of the so-called Resistance trolls? A policy works only when equally applied both to the party and speech you agree with and to the one(s) you oppose. I respect Facebook and Zuckerberg for now cowing to Soros.

  123. Social media is boring and corrosive. Delete Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. They are bad habits, just like smoking tobacco cigarettes. Quitting is good for you! You will be OK.

  124. Ah, the opinions of warring billionaires are always so relevant to the common folk, and last I checked nobody is forced to either utilize or believe Facebook. No doubt Soros is also deeply troubled by the political contamination of “objective news coverage” in the NYTimes and will suggest a management change there as well - or is it only those institutions with whom he disagrees where change is required?

  125. Facebook usage is completely voluntary. It does not stream onto your devices or into your home without action on your part. I do not use it and have more concerns about Soros-approved fact checking than no fact-checking. It is up to the individual to research all things political.

  126. The Senate show trial has been one of the worst things, after Bush's destruction of Iraq, that we have seen in the last 100 years or more. Facebook has had no positive effect on American process. None.

  127. It's so weird... when Google employees had a revolving door with the white house for Obama (voted twice for him and Hillary) nobody cared. It's utterly ridiculous that tech gets upset when someone they don't agree with uses their tools to accomplish something alternative to their ideas. This is the exact narrative the right uses to describe how hypocritical the left is.

  128. Soros is now a philanthropist... - well, well, astonishing how wrong our perceptions can be... That aside, I abhor Facebook for its merciless exploitation of individuals and the ruthless marketing of the "loot" made ... and not because the functionality of Facebook could work in favor of the re-election of President Trump.

  129. ????? Soros has donated most of his wealth tp philanthropic causes.

  130. "...Facebook should be judged by what it does, not what it says." Indeed, but that train has left the station. Thanks to Facebook and Twitter, we now live in a United States of Narcissism where the average citizen is a con-man or woman. Marc is just an ultra-wealthy, powerful example of the populace. In my own family is a tweeter who tweets about how appalling Trump is and yet this person has never performed an act of service for another human being in her life or volunteered her time to anything that didn't directly benefit her. Cognitive dissonance. Look at what I say, not what I do. See, I'm a good person because I vote for Democrats. Perhaps someone as powerful as George Soros could make some real efforts at being a lion and not a lamb and stop with tepid essays in the NYTimes and put a plan of action together. With all due respect, if we're all talk and no action, I'm not sure how we differ from the evil-doers.

  131. I agree that there are plenty of “all talk, no action” agents in the world. But Soros isn’t one of them. He has backed up his stated beliefs with ample expenditures and effort.

  132. Don't forget that Zuck stole the idea for Facebook. That should tell you everything you need to know about his character. He and Trump were made for each other. Not a shred of integrity between the two.

  133. It's like trying to regulate stupidity. How in the world are there still people who continue to believe what they read on fb? That's really the scary part.

  134. Facebook as a concept had a potential to be a force for good, however, the blatant right wing bias and the fact that Trump loves Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg, which is set out in this article say's everything. Do we all need to be brainwashed by social media? People need to make serious political choices based on truth and evidence, not biased hysteria.

  135. Social Media is Media with no regulations. Reality TV is TV with non-union actors. We’ve had 30 years of this nonsense. It’s led to today, when a majority of the Senate will proclaim that truth and justice do not matter and that some Americans are above the law. The price of our booming tech and media success is too high and benefits too few.

  136. I understand Mr. Soros's complaint, and I agree that Facebook's "not my circus, not my monkeys" approach to political lies is harmful to us all. But I think the last sentence in his oped, "One way or another, they should not be left in control of Facebook," is a cop-out. Mr. Soros, please explain. What is your "one way" to get those two to stop being in charge of Facebook, and what is "...another?" I ask because I don't think you have a way in mind to achieve what you want... unless those two executives just decide they want to resign.

  137. The problem with Soros efforts to remove Zuckerberg is that it is for the wrong reason. To remove him because you oppose a political candidate that will use the Facebook platform to win an election is a fools errand. Instead, Soros should be using his fortune to show the danger that social media platforms pose to Democracy and the fact that Facebook is in violation of US and EU anti-monopoly laws and should be forced to break up its company. This would be the first salvo in undercutting the influence Facebook and other social media platforms on our Democracy. Zuckerberg is not the problem. Failure by the US and the EU to regulate the monopolistic behavior of Facebook is.

  138. @Mike It's not only an anti-trust issue. It's not about opposing a candidate; it's about allowing the platform you control to spread disinformation and conspiracy theories that poison public discourse and corrupt the democratic process -- because, like Fox News, you can make more money that way. All media that spread false and slanderous information should be censured in the same way. Boycotts are a start, but regulation would be essential.

  139. @Mike Yes, if Hillary won, he would't be complaining.

  140. It's fairly obvious. Facebook is a demonstrable threat to this nation and needs to be dismantled. In fact, the internet itself needs to be removed from the private sector (cable companies, etc) and made into a public utility for the benefit of the people. The only individuals who think otherwise are money-hungry capitalists, autocrats (and pretend autocrats, like Trump) and their deluded stooges.

  141. There should be no Facebook or Twitter. They have no filter that can separate the nonsense from the truth/facts. Facebook and Twitter are akin to getting rid of peer review in scientific publishing and expecting that facts, not fiction, determine what natural law is. Loss of fact filters is what will end democracy.

  142. Facebook's business model doesn't require peer review; that's for academic journals. How about encouraging people to question the veracity of what they read? The audacity of FB to not do everything on a free service!

  143. @Randeep Chauhan I don't disagree with this one bit; however, it's been depressing to see some of my mostly college-educated peers on Facebook post clickbait pieces with content that could be easily dismantled with a Google search or a read of a Snopes article. So while it's great in theory to encourage people to question the veracity of what they read, I'm less inclined to think that will actually happen.

  144. @Nora White Right, but whose responsibility is it to make sure they have the right information? If I read about potential side effects of psychiatric medications on Facebook that were false, and passed it along to the patients, I'm held accountable. As it should be. Which is why I study the recent literature, and seek expert opinions like my job depends on it. Because it does. Zuckerberg isn't responsible if a charlatan says mental illness is a social construct.

  145. George Soros is right. I encourage people to also read the WSJ article today. Facebook’s Relationship With Democrats Hits a Low Point Party operatives and campaign officials say recent policy decisions [E.g., allowing lying campaign ads] favor President Trump. https://www.wsj.com/articles/facebooks-relationship-with-democrats-hits-a-low-point-11580380202 This issues are particularly politically tricky when Antitrust concerns have been raised about Facebook quashing competition. Any politician taking a position on that issue (Elizabeth Warren comes to mind) is inevitably either contending with or supporting Facebook.

  146. I agree with Mr. Soros’ perspective. Zuckerberg’s hands-off view of FB’s role in political disinformation is dangerous and irresponsible. Unfortunately removing Zuckerberg from FB’s leadership doesn’t seem feasible unless FB’s bought out. Trump advocate Peter Thiel is an influential Board member. I don’t know about the rest of Zuckerberg’s Board members. FEC regulation theoretically is a more achievable goal but not with Trump’s current did I’m powered Commission. $$$ talk. Individuals closing their FB accounts won’t have impact unless there are massive numbers. I favor organizing a boycott FB campaign. Will Mr. Soros get behind that strategy?

  147. Advice for a man (Soros) used to financially influence elections in all countries he pleases, however he pleases, and with a global infrastructure of NGOs meant to design support and achieve election interference. A financier who made his fortune by betting against the British and other national currencies, and with many other tactics far worse than Facebook.

  148. Attack the argument, not the man. This is the last bastion of defense for the indefensible.

  149. @Alexgri Explain more, please, about how George Soros works "to financially influence elections in all countries he pleases, however he pleases, and with a global infrastructure of NGOs meant to design support and achieve election interference." "A financier who made his fortune by betting against the British and other national currencies, and with many other tactics far worse than Facebook." Explain, please. What do you think of Mark Zuckerberg's proposed Libra built on blockchain technology?

  150. Ever heard of S and H Green Stamps? See if this sounds familiar. A private company gives stamps to private retailers to give to customers that collect the privately issued stamps to buy things. You could swap money for stamps. You could also trade stamps with friends and family without government oversight. The company had privately owned stores all across America. Think it was a small operation? They issued more stamps each year than the Post Office in the Sixties. Getting the catalog was a big deal in many middle class families. Fed Reserve had no role. The process Facebook wants to do is essentially the same. Somehow the Republic survived.

  151. Peter Zenger: George Soros Should Not Be in Control of a Huge Chunk of the World's Money. Zuckerberg provides us with a popular web service that he invented - what does Soros provide us with? That's my opinion.

  152. @Peter Zenger Well actually he didn't invent it he just ran with someone else's idea. And let's not assume that something that is 'popular' is somehow good for society. Social media has pretty much put the final nail into the coffin of Truth. Thanks mostly to Facebook and Twitter.

  153. As if it isn't obvious a ton of actual philanthropy. I imagine you prefer Trump's form of philanthropy; the kind he uses to line his pockets.

  154. @zigful26 In terms of expressing ideas, there is absolutely no difference between print media and social media web sites. Abraham Lincoln got his start in politics, by writing anonymous letters to newspapers savaging people running for office, as a favor to their opponents, who were delighted when Lincoln's brilliant satire was published. Nothing but the medium has changed. The medium is not the message. If we can limit web communication, we can limit print communication as well. You probably didn't realize it, but basically, your comment supports the "book burning as a good thing" concept.

  155. Says Mr. Soros: "I repeat and reaffirm my accusation against Facebook under the leadership of Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg. They follow only one guiding principle: maximize profits irrespective of the consequences. One way or another, they should not be left in control of Facebook." From Forbes: "George Soros is a celebrated hedge fund tycoon who managed client money in New York from 1969 to 2011. In 1992, Soros shorted the British pound and reportedly made a profit of $1 billion. He became known as the man who broke the Bank of England." https://www.forbes.com/profile/george-soros/#27e9a0cf2024 If it's OK for George Soros to make a profit, then he shouldn't criticize anyone else for doing the same thing. If George wants to make a real difference, he should use some of those hedge fund profits and create competition for Facebook.

  156. @hm1342 Soros is NOT the problem here. The reach of FB is huge, and Zuck has no compunctions about allowing ads that are full of lies which will influence a gullible, often confused public.

  157. @hm1342 There's a BIG difference. Soros was making money the way people have always made money. Facebook makes money by allowing misinformation, lies, and hate to intersect and converge.

  158. @Sage: "Soros is NOT the problem here. The reach of FB is huge, and Zuck has no compunctions about allowing ads that are full of lies which will influence a gullible, often confused public." @Moehoward: "Facebook makes money by allowing misinformation, lies, and hate to intersect and converge." Then FB is no different than most of the media, regardless the political ideology they follow.

  159. Advice from a man (Soros) used to financially influence elections in all countries he pleases, however he pleases, and with a global infrastructure of NGOs meant to design support and achieve election interference. A financier who made his fortune by betting against the British pound and other national currencies, and with many other tactics far worse than Facebook.

  160. @Alexgri Great point. The rules of fairness don't apply to liberals. They are like 3 year old brats changing the rules when they can't win.

  161. @Alexgri So because Soros uses tactics you don't approve then whatever Facebook does is OK?

  162. I remember my college-aged children using Facebook during its infancy, rightly complaining about it when it was open to anyone with an email address, and soon dumping it when it began to foreshadow the behemoth it is today. It’s where advertising and hate speech share the same platform. It’s too firmly entrenched in society for it to go away. It must be regulated.

  163. The trail of facts supports Soros. Zuckerberg has been irresponsible in his ad position on the capriciousness in what Facebook allows. Trump takes advantage of this in his re-election advertising. The ability of others, such as the Russians, to plant false information has already been confirmed. We need legislation to curb Facebook’s tendencies to corrupt the facts.

  164. I'm looking forward to the 2028 or 2032 season when Facebook, Twitter, and others collectively decide that if people keep accusing them of influencing elections they might as well go ahead and do it. Prez Zuck will introduce sweeping technocratic reforms and usher in an odd but endearing era of prosperity and peace.

  165. @Michael They influence elections now because all advertising platforms influence. That's why companies spend billions on advertising dollars; they believe it works.

  166. Saying, that "Mark Zuckerberg should not be in control of Facebook" is like saying "'Frank' should not be in control of Frank's Pizzeria over on Main Street." Sure, the size and scope of the two businesses are enormously different, but the concept is the same. You want to control a business? Then start one of your own. The envy on the left has gotten way out of hand. The left thinks it should have full control of all businesses and everything we do. We need smaller government, not bigger government. Capitalism is what has made America great. Socialism and government control of every aspect of our lives (including our speech) is becoming a cancer to this country.

  167. @ABC123 I don't think George Soros has any reason to envy Mark Zuckerberg. As a billionaire, he has done quite well for himself. He is trying to point out that Mark Zuckerberg is not being responsible. He is putting profits ahead of everything, and is destroying our democracy

  168. @ABC123 Ah yes, the "socialism" of the US (I don't suppose you're referring to the "corporate socialism" whereby Uncle Sam smiles upon our financial institutions). Way to paint in broad brushstrokes about the boogeyman "left".

  169. @ABC123 I've had about enough of bad faith conservatives claiming the left broadly wants socialism. They don't. I'd encourage you to behave like a mature adult and quit lying. Even Bernie, the only "socialist" in the presidential campaign wants something more like the capitalist social democracies of Europe, not a Soviet-style command economy. Both of us know this, and yet you lie.

  170. There is always the obvious solution to Facebook's influence: Don't use it.

  171. @Rob If only it were that simple. FB will still attract far more people, the very people who are most likely easily herded by cynical manipulation. Sign off and you won't even have a clue about what to push back on, let alone how to do it. It really puts truth seekers in a bind.

  172. @Rob The problem is the people who DO use Facebook are unable to use critical thinking and are therefore influenced by the false claims and misleading advertising. So the solution is not to drop Facebook, it is to eliminate Facebook completely (like that is going to happen!)

  173. You can't totally blame Facebook, but I do agree, I wouldn't trust Z to wash the dishes, much less run an influential media company.

  174. How could Facebook possibly fact check the accuracy of a trump related ad and not point out the lies that are embedded in everything trump says. This would obviously not work out well for the revenue stream Facebook is generating from the trump campaign. Facebook can make all the claims it wants to, but the fact remains that Facebook is like a bad disease. The only way to defeat or change this is to stop using Facebook and Instagram. A change of command will not result in a change in its business model. Life is much better, clearer and happier without it.

  175. As much as I admire Mr. Soros' philanthropy and as closely as I hold views in line with his, I have to say it is wrong to be a billionaire. He's given away four times as much as he has, I know, but it's not enough. Think about what $8,000,000,000 could do. No brownie points for participation.

  176. @Andrew Roberts I respectfully disagree. I always object to this line of "why don't they do more?" reasoning. Mr. Soros made his money, and it's his choice to decide how it's spent.

  177. Clash of the Titans. The winner gets to redefine "Philanthropy" to mean "Political Decisions That Favor My Business Interests..."

  178. Exactly. Like the Great Soros Currency Manipulations.

  179. When politicians – left or right - push Facebook, Google, etc. to suppress speech that they don’t like, they are trying to make an end run around the First Amendment. They want the corporations to do on their behalf what the Constitution prohibits them from doing themselves. The effect is just the same – censorship.

  180. @Tench Tilghman But there has always been some form of censorship in news media. Before the advent of the Internet and the proliferation of smaller news networks, there were only a handful of companies that actually engaged in distributing information. Even today, with so many smaller news networks (and unofficial ones like blogs, YouTube channels etc.), the number is still finite, and they can still engage in "censorship". The decentralization has made this harder, but it's also allowed for unprecedented spreading of misinformation or outright lies, which seriously threatens our democratic institutions. How can people vote if they don't understand what they're voting for -- or worse, if someone is outright lying to them?

  181. @Tench Tilghman What is the purpose of the first amendment? It isn't purely speech for the sake of speech. It's purpose is to hold authority accountable, period. If you have information that are bold faced lies to protect tyranny how is the first amendment working? That is the problem. How about a simple solution. Facebook has proven it promotes lies. It can no longer post information about politics and must remove all such posts for 3 months before an election until it has passed. Unless of course we simply want the liars from all over the world and within our country to install tyranny. (correction - first amendment)

  182. @Tench Tilghman What is the purpose of the first amendment? It isn't purely speech for the sake of speech. It's purpose is to hold authority accountable, period. If you have information that are bold faced lies to protect tyranny how is the second amendment working? That is the problem. How about a simple solution. Facebook has proven it promotes lies. It can no longer post information about politics and must remove all such posts for 3 months before an election until it has passed. Unless of course we simply want the liars from all over the world and within our country to install tyranny.

  183. Why not create a better product that incorporates the attributes you desire, if it is so needed? You, George Soros and others such as Michael Bloomberg for example, have the resources. Facebook needs a worthy competitor with a different ethos. Gather a think tank, then put out a product. I believe there a number of people, news organizations, marketers, and families that would welcome a better supervised format that would complete. It is not impossible. See TikTok vs. Instagram.

  184. Why do the traditional media companies continue to dismiss the idea that Americans can filter through fake news and make a safe, educated decision using multiple sources? Go Facebook!

  185. @Pilot "Why do the traditional media companies continue to dismiss the idea that Americans can filter through fake news and make a safe, educated decision using multiple sources? " Because many Americans did such a lousy job of it in 2016.

  186. @Carl Thank you, Carl. I was just about to say the same thing, but in a ruder, more stark way.

  187. Comments such as these, to the effect that the outcome of the 2016 election proves the need for media censorship, actually only demonstrate that the basis for these efforts at media control are partisan and elitist. Voters should be given more information, not less. Democrats seem to be arguing for some sort of state-regulated media, akin to China or Russia, to ensure that only the officially correct narrative is available. No thanks.

  188. There would be very little outcry about Facebook but for the hypothesis that those posting and advertising there will help reelect Trump. The level of hysteria about this, together with the residual whining about 2016, goes on and on as if every voter does nothing else but sit scrolling through nonsense all day on social media. The time might be better spent by Trump opponents on cultivating those several million swing voters in the six states that matter with their own targeted advertising. That and finding a decent candidate.

  189. Soros, the most partisan of the Democratic Party mega-rich, would have no problem with Facebook and Zuckerberg if Hillary Clinton had been elected President. The Democrats have been able to rely on the mainstream media for 60 years to support their candidates in national elections. With the exception of Fox News in the last 20 years, and talk radio for the last 25 years, the message of the Democratic Party has been dominant in all forms of media. Now control of the media has been broken by several institutions, including Facebook. It has been added by the Left to the list of media outlets like Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity that need to be censored for not supporting the informed guidance of the intellectual elite. The problem for Soros is that all of his money now and in the past, invested in advertising, have not overcome President Trump and the Republicans.

  190. Keep drinking the koolaid. I can tell you're enjoying it immensely. Anyone who's watched the media knows that Fox was unique in the extent of it's biased reporting - which imagine is why you like it. No need to think for yourself anymore. So much easier that way...

  191. Mr. Soros's views in this editorial help to explain why he is a frequent target of right-wing ire. He raises some excellent points. There does seem to be a clear conflict of interest here, but COIs are completely normal now, in the Time of Trump. Trump has scores of conflicts and Congress and the Justice Dept. don't seem to care, nor (sadly) do most Americans. Facebook is a business, so naturally they want to maximize profits. As a business, they are entitled to support a candidate, I suppose. What they should not be allowed to do, however, is pretend to be neutral when they clearly are not.

  192. The most socially responsible thing Facebook could do put a disclaimer on any and all advertising clearly stating that Facebook has not vetted the advertising for truth and user should be advised that any advertising should be checked to insure it's accurate.

  193. @Carl I admire your optimism in people's willingness and capacity to fact-check but it is accepted fact of human psychology that people persistently believe in false ideas even after they are proven false.

  194. @Anita I don't believe that.

  195. I agree, Mr. Soros. Murdoch and Zuckerberg both have the same goal — maximize profits overall else.

  196. Complaining about losing the election because of Facebook is like one team complaining about losing the game because of the rain. Both teams have to play in it, and thus the disadvantages and advantages accrue equally to both sides.

  197. @Dr B Wouldn't the better analogy be, "like playing in a game where the ref's don't call it when one team starts bringing pipes onto the field and clocking their opponents knees." Sure, the refs weren't calling it so both teams COULD have had done the same thing but it's not much of a sport anymore, is it?

  198. @Dr B Yours is a race to the bottom argument. It's true that in a game with no rules both sides have equal opportunity to win by any means necessary, but it's only a "level playing field" if both sides are equally willing to use any means necessary. The idea of rules in a game is not just to keep things fair... it's to make the game something we all want to play or watch. If there's no penalty for lying, and no constraints against it, then we can expect that whoever is most willing to lie will control the narrative most effectively. It's not "cheating" if there are no rules against it... but that doesn't mean it's how we should choose our leaders. This isn't an abstract game, it's our country and our elections. We have a common interest in precluding an "any means necessary" competition.

  199. @Dr B And, don't forget, there are the domed stadia, too.

  200. Zuckerberg and Sandberg are using Facebook to allow the Trump re-election campaign to spread lies throughout the application most likely because of a quid pro quo between Zuckerberg and Trump: For Trump, permission to use Facebook to spread as many lies with as much user data as he needs to maximize his re-election chances. For Zuckerberg, agreement to block the federal government from regulating any aspect of Facebook's business model. These are two dealmakers who have met privately to work out their secret deal. Americans who use Facebook should unfriend everyone with whom they have a connection, not forward uncorroborated "news", and search for truthful information elsewhere.

  201. @me And do not forget those wonderful middle class tax cuts that actually only helped large corporations and the wealthy. I think Zuckerberg might just be one of those wealthy people.

  202. I agree partially with George Soros. The problem with Facebook, and also with Twitter, is that these social media platforms encourage superficial thought. With Facebook, just a click and you can send a message to 500 facebook friends. There is no need to provide original content, just copy a story you saw somewhere else and express "outrage. I have facebook friends on opposite sides of the political divide so I see these one-sentence "outrage" comments. They facilitate formation of "in-groups" which can then pressure all of us to take action. The problem is that the action is never fully thought out. It would be better if people could only forward essays they had written with original content. This would at least force them to think the issues through. An example is Jane Fonda marching about global warming and getting arrested. The problem is that we need a low-emotion discussion of HOW to fight global warming. It is not really an issue that should divide us into us-versus-them. The development of Facebook and Twitter does threaten our democracy. It increase partisanship without thought. The slow discussion of solutions would help us realize that there are at least two sides to every issue, as Jim Lehrer, a journalist from an earlier era, used to tell us. I don't know the solutions. But we need to find ways of encouraging greater depth to our analysis of political issues.

  203. The only recourse is to delete Facebook. It's hard but it can be done. The shareholders will take care of the rest.

  204. @kalix1 Thanks. I deleted about 18 months ago and once you are off, you realize the ONLY thing you miss are the daily birthday reminders. The rest serves no utility. We can do it people!!

  205. @kalix1 I was on Facebook short term, and disliked everything about it. I was unable to figure out how to delete it, so took my page down years ago, before the Cambridge Analytical scandal. I had a very bad feeling because it was so easy to get on Facebook and so difficult to get off it. They have created a maze of obstacles to a simple “delete.”

  206. Trying to cut the Facebook cord is difficult. In 2008, I joined Facebook after the birth of my first daughter because it made it much easier to share photos and videos of the new babe with all our far-flung family and friends. Since then, I have joined various creative groups, neighborhood groups and often use my FB login credentials to log in to web sites--even NYTimes.com. Also, FB actually houses many many "memories"--all those old posts pop up and make me feel nostalgic, which is lovely. In 2020, cutting the Facebook cord for me means no longer being dialed in to my literal and virtual communities. Still, because I'm appalled at the platform's lack of ethics or integrity, sickened by its leadership's laissez-faire attitudes about honesty and morality, my goal for this year is to avoid FB as much as possible. Already, I rarely post personal photos anymore. I've stopped using FB to login to sites, and do not "share" articles anymore, either. It is now time to sacrifice the visceral and utilitarian benefits of Facebook because in his undeniable hubris, Mark Zuckerberg has demonstrated that he couldn't care less about truth, justice, or the direction of this country. Now, Instagram...that's another story. (Jeez, Zuck really has a monopoly.)

  207. @Gabriel When social media first broke on the scene I studied it and concluded it would develop into the train wreck it has become. Part of the problem is the lack of friction in the system - it's "free". Of course users pay with their privacy, but they either don't realize it or don't care. The only hope for society now is that we will develop resistance to social media in the same way our bodies reject dangerous infectious agents. There are signs that it may be happening.

  208. Zuckerberg claimed that FB wouldn't regulate political ads because it supported free speech. However, he didn't make the clear and obvious distinction that a political ad is not free speech. In fact, it is paid speech, and the fact that FB makes money off of these ads, which are free to state whatever falsehood they want, corrupts the political process. Fine to allow an individual, including Trump, to spout whatever they want from their own FB (or Twitter) account. Totally something else to allow anyone to say anything in a paid ad that generates revenue for FB. Obfuscating such an obvious difference under the guise of adhering to some higher principle does not place confidence in Zuckerberg's leadership.

  209. The real issue is this. FB was intended to be a connection medium between friends. It has been used for many other things since its early days. And that has largely been driven by its users. So, some users use it for malicious purposes. Some to troll and spew hateful thoughts. Some to extol their opinions. Twitter has become much the same except one is limited in the size of the posting to a small amount. People who are ignorant and hateful who would never have the intellect, drive, or ability to spew their distortions or hate via other mediums that take work and aptitude find it very easy to do on FB and Twitter. The only way FB would eventually be able to prevent distorted or hurtful speech would be to fully take on the role of publishers. There is no 1st amendment right that says FB must post anything I wish to post. They have the right to censor it or not post it. But they simply do not want to do it. So that takes us to the root cause. Ignorant and unethical people who post, and really dumb people who are influenced by social media.....I don’t see that changing.

  210. trump will not be re-elected as the most corrupt and dishonest and foul president in history. If he is, America will be lost to the world and itself, will fall in stature and it has the last 3 years, and become more isolated and laughed at than it is now.

  211. Best reason yet to close your FB account ASAP and have all data removed.

  212. FB didn't elect Trump in 2016, Hillary Clinton did by ignoring the plight of 80 percent of US workers--saying she just didn't care. She had help from Obama in her Trump election efforts every time the Obama or the likes of the NY Times said "the US economy is good"; they were telling people to "vote Trump of stay home". No one paid any attention to silly Facebook memes about buff Bernie or Jesus and Onanism. Furthermore, in the fall of 2016, team Hillary was explicitly warned they were taking Michigan, Florida, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania for granted. But team Clinton ignored the advice from Donna Brazile that they massively increase the on the ground campaigning in those states--instead relying on "metrics"--prior voting patterns. Indeed the claim that FB elected Trump is fake news--much akin to "Russia elected Trump".

  213. Why can’t Democratic candidates use Facebook to the same advantage as Trump?

  214. Between Putin and Zuckerberg/Sandberg, our nation is on an ever increasingly dangerous trajectory. After the 2016 election, Zuckerberg denied that Facebook was a factor in the election results. The lack of changes Zuckerberg/Sandberg have made is glaring. While Jack Dorsey has made an effort, Zuckerberg/Sandberg have maintained they are more dedicated to their bank accounts than they are to our nation. Their arrogance is disgraceful. Shame on them!

  215. Mr. Soros, Just imagine the political firestorm that would happen if facebook started having to determine which political ads were true or not. They would become a punching bag for whatever side of the aisle was promoting new nonsense. That would be atrociously bad for their business. You can hardly blame them for not wanting to be the country's judge of political speech. This is such a nonsensical take from a successful businessman.

  216. Gee, I don't remember anyone complaining when Obama campaigned on social media.

  217. @M No one's really complaining about campaigning on social media. The complaint is more about one sided discourse being disguised as legitimate news sources and fake "people's" opinions being inserted into the dialogues of real people. The complaint is about deception masquerading as truth, with specific intent.

  218. @Brooklin — Political attack ads on TV do the same thing, no? Since decades. Only they are produced by agencies who know how to, for example, carefully place the word RAT in an anti-democrat spot for tens of thousands of dollars! As opposed to some “creative genius” with a free app and a mom paying for an internet connection.

  219. Mr. Soros, I am no fan of Zuckerberg or Facebook, and I am all in favor of breaking monopolies so that we can have a thriving ecosystem of companies. I dislike Trump and believe he is a conman and a crook who is weakening America by corroding our institutions. But this nonsense about Facebook will get Trump elected verges on mental disorder. Who stops Democrats or Libertarians or Independents from running candidates who can match Trump in charisma and popularity? Zuckerberg? Long story short, Trump won not because he ran a winning campaign. He did because Hillary ran a losing campaign. His victory was under 70,000 votes in the right states, while she had 3 Million more, just not in the right places. She lost over 400,00 votes in Michigan which Obama had won, and they blame Bernie for it. She lost another chunk of Black voters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, blue collar voters in Pennsylvania and so on. None of this had to do with Facebook or the odious Mr. Zuckerberg. Trump's campaign worked like everything depended on it, Hillary's campaign ran like it was a nuisance they had to take care of before the swearing-in/coronation. Solve the problem - the smugness, the "centrist" dogmatism, the lack of charisma in convincing the American voter at that crucial second in the voting booth that a vote for you is the right thing to do. Closing. All of this talk about Zuckerberg, Bernie Bros, Socialism, etc... is more pseudo-intellectual elitist nonsense - to voters it is just noise.

  220. @Suppan How is it that Trump knew what the "right states" would be? Read the opinion piece from Tom Edsall on NYT two days ago. Provides great context for what Soros is saying. I believe Brad Parscale would disagree with you that Trump's advantage has "nothing to do with Facebook."

  221. Brad Parscale. Remember that name. I’m guessing a year or so from now he will be going to jail for something and Trump will claim to never have known him.

  222. The Trump campaign’s use of Facebook to manipulate voters would not be a serious issue IF the half-witted, geriatric Democratic leadership used Facebook in a similarly effective manner. Sometimes in politics, you just have to do what it takes to win. With the future of humanity at stake due to human-induced climate change, the Democrats winning the 2020 election is critical.

  223. Interesting comment from one of the biggest international currency manipulators ever.

  224. @LA Woman Have you followed Zuckerberg's plans for the Libra -- the blockchain currency -- and can you help me understand it? I can't get past the anonymity and how that works with taxation and regulation. References?

  225. @LA WOMAN — And he’s proud if it too!

  226. Mr. Soros, would you be willing to fund a nonprofit competitor to Facebook?

  227. The problem is not with Facebook. The problem is that millions of Americans seem unable to understand they are being manipulated. In their minds, the entire world is a professional wrestling match. Bluff and bluster and threats of murder and mayhem are the only skills they admire. All problems can be solved by stomping your opponent into submission, over and over if needed. Thunderdome rules! Either that or slavish devotion to the words contained in a book written by charlatans posing as prophets and disseminated by self aggrandizing pulpit-pounders whose only reason for existence is self enrichment. Or, often, both. Meanwhile, with the people thus distracted, the purveyors of the message are busy turning the world into a piggybank for their exclusive use; and your government into their tool. And the rest of the world is left to watch in horror as the country we trusted to lead the way turns turtle instead.

  228. Should read -- The social media company is going to get Trump re-elected — because it’s good for business and the country.

  229. Soros doesn't go far enough. Whats App and Instagram should be separate companies and Facebook should be shut down for at least 3 months before the election.

  230. @Harris silver Shut off Facebook? For the billion or so users around the world who rely upon it for many things besides political news? Why don't you just delete the app?

  231. Americans are smarter than the media and many politicians give them credit for and can make their own judgement without more regulations!

  232. FB is objectively "the malevolent platform of doom". If you support our democracy, please delete your FB data then delete your FB account. Whatever benefits you think you're getting, it's simply not worth the price. You will still have your family and friends, just fewer mind-numbing distractions and democracy-eroding micro-targeted lies.

  233. Facebook is an uncensored venue for any kind of thought, depending on your personal position: good or bad. Depending on your political leanings if you look at the NYT, they are bad guys, if you look at the WSJ, they are the good guys. Print media stakes out a political side and influences things in favor of that side. The big issue is the position that has the most potential to remain profitable. Zuckerberg has staked out a position where he makes money from both sides. There is no editing or monitoring of what's being published. Facebook is the absolute perfect position to make money - no matter the direction of the political tides. Soros is definitely in the liberal camp - hence Facebook is bad. The Democrats need only look in the mirror to see who is responsible for providing the right almost unfettered access to an enormous number of people. Hillary used a public server in her job as secretary of state, the DNC lost a server full of email information. Did the DNC do anything to upgrade its presence on Facebook - no! Does the DNC have a meaningful grasp on how to use the internet for political again - no! Looking at the Republicans, I see nothing but a mass of people whose thinking, beliefs, and actions are disgusting. Looking at the Democrats I see total disaster. After Roberts brings down the final gavel the Democrats collectively ask, "What do we do now?" They don't have a plan, and that will continue until there is no Democratic party.

  234. I couldn't agree more. Zuckerberg seems frighteningly uninformed, with too much power in his hands than he knows how to do good with. He is completely unequipped, socially awkward, and utterly incurious to be trusted to responsibly handle complex political, economic and social issues that face this country and the world at large.

  235. "...there appears to be “an informal mutual assistance operation or agreement developing between Trump and Facebook” in which Facebook will help President Trump to get re-elected and Mr. Trump will, in turn, defend Facebook against attacks from regulators and the media." More than likely, this mutual assistance operation is formal, as it was in 2016. Facebook sent its personnel to set up rooms within or next to the Trump campaign. It will only get worse. YOU and your data are the product of Facebook, and they and Trump will use it against you.