Rupert Murdoch speaks about tech giants and Donald Trump at News Corp AGM

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• “There is no doubt that Facebook employees try to silence conservative voices”

Speaking at the News Corp Annual General Meeting, Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp spoke about tech giants and their impacts on news.

“For many years, our company has been leading the global debate about Big Digital,” he said. “What we have seen in the past few weeks about the practices at Facebook and Google surely reinforces the need for significant reform. There is no doubt that Facebook employees try to silence conservative voices and a quick Google News search on most contemporary topics often reveals a similar pattern of selectivity—or to be blunt, censorship.

“Secondly, the collusion between the two companies on ad tech as alleged in the Texas Attorney General’s complaint is extraordinary. Let us be very clear about the consequences of that digital ad market manipulation: obviously, publishers have been materially damaged, but companies have also been over-charged for their advertising and consumers have thus paid too much for products.”

The Texas Attorney General’s complaint is in reference to Google coming under fire after an unredacted version of the Texas Attorney General’s ad tech antitrust probe was released. 

Murdoch continued by speaking about the fundamental need for algorithmic transparency.

“The idea falsely promoted by the platforms that algorithms are somehow objective and solely scientific is complete nonsense. Algorithms are subjective and they can be manipulated by people to kill competition and damage other people, publishers and businesses.”

He also used the platform to urge former US President Donald Trump to move forward from his election loss. The pair reportedly often spoke on the phone while Trump was in office.

“Finally, the current American political debate is profound, whether about education or welfare or economic opportunity,” said Murdoch. “It is crucial that conservatives play an active, forceful role in that debate, but that will not happen if President Trump stays focused on the past. The past is the past, and the country is now in a contest to define the future.”

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