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Summary (IA Generated)
A backstage view of Bill Gates as he takes part in a virtual discussion during the 2020 GeekWire Summit on Thursday.
During our hour-long conversation with Gates at the GeekWire Summit on Thursday, we focused largely on big picture issues like the pandemic and climate change.
“Certainly, scrutiny is important,” he said.
“These companies are shaping communications, commerce, and politicians have to think, OK, what are the rules there?”.
However, he added, “I think it’s kind of unfortunate that they’re grouping the companies together, because there’s so many different mutations.
Related: GeekWire Summit: Bill Gates says world can avoid climate ‘disaster,’ if we learn lesson from pandemic .
But Gates said social media alone brings up a range of unique issues, such as advertising to kids, surveillance, online bullying, and conspiracy theories.
“If they want to get serious, they’re going to have to focus in, enumerate the issues, and then debate them,” he said.
Gates said the main mistake he made in Microsoft’s antitrust case “was not realizing how important it would be to develop relationships” in Washington, D.
“These companies are not making the same mistake,” he said, referencing their teams of people in the nation’s capital, and noting that Bezos even has a home there.
But I pointed that Amazon has been aggressive in its response, in ways reminiscent of Microsoft’s approach, and I wondered if that was wise.
“Well, if you’re proud of your work, and the effect it’s had, that can be interpreted in a negative way.
Amazon services have been very helpful during the pandemic … and that’s been a very good thing.
So they’re justified and proud of some of their work,” he said.