Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. (Amazon Photo)
Don’t expect Amazon to roll out a social media platform anytime soon.
Speaking at an antitrust hearing that often waded outside of antitrust-related topics, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos called social media a “nuance destruction machine.”
The comment was made with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the video conference call, in addition to Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai.
“What I find a little discouraging is that it appears to me that social media is a nuance destruction machine, and I don’t think that’s helpful for a democracy,” Bezos said.
I think Jeff Bezos calling social media a “nuance destruction machine” may be the quote everyone will remember coming out of this hearing.
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) July 29, 2020
The Amazon chief was responding to an inquiry from U.S. Rep Jim Jordan about whether the tech execs were concerned about the “cancel culture mob.”‘
Here’s what Jeff Bezos revealed about the antitrust case against Amazon during unwieldy tech hearing
“You are four individuals who have so much influence,” Jordan said. “It would sure help if you are out there criticizing what the cancel culture mob is doing to this country.”
The New York Times described “cancel culture” as “an attack on someone’s employment and reputation by a determined collective of critics, based on an opinion or an action that is alleged to be disgraceful and disqualifying.”
Zuckerberg said he is “very worried about some of the forces of illiberalism I see in this country that are pushing against free expression.”
“Our company is committed to doing what we can to protect people’s voice,” Zuckerberg said.
The closest Amazon has come to its own social media platform was an Instagram-inspired shopping feed called Amazon Spark that shuttered last year.
Good point via @spencersoper: Amazon’s generally worked to stay away from hot button social issues (and, acquisition of Twitch aside, is on the outside looking in re: social media)
That’s helped spare Jeff Bezos questions from Congress so far today.
— Matt Day (@mattmday) July 29, 2020
The House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust arm grilled all four execs on Wednesday about the power their companies wield in the tech sector. Here’s more about what Bezos said during today’s hearing. See the “cancel culture” exchange below (starts at 4:55:50):
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