Microsoft President Brad Smith is concerned about how thieves are weaponizing tech, and he is berating Facebook for allowing it to fester on its network, The Washington Post reported on Sunday (Sept. 8).
Smith said social media companies should not make money from hatemongers posting vile content and then duck liability.
“Digital technology has become both a tool and a weapon, and we need to address that head-on,” Smith said in an interview with the WP. “And part of addressing it head-on starts with really understanding the different ways in which it’s either serving humanity or being weaponized.”
In Smith’s new book being released on Tuesday (Sept. 10), “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and The Peril of The Digital Age,” he outlines a new approach to combat privacy threats and cybercrimes. The book was co-written with Microsoft communications executive Carol Ann Browne.
The book’s release comes on the heels of unfolding trouble for big tech, with Facebook being hit with a $5 billion settlement and Google’s YouTube paying a $170 million settlement.
Microsoft is now the only tech company valued at over $1 trillion and has avoided fines and criticism from U.S. regulators. A decade ago, that was not the case.
“We made more than our share of mistakes in the antitrust era, and I was personally responsible for almost all of them, to some degree,” Smith said in the interview.
Microsoft has since “matured and internalized lessons that younger tech companies may still need to learn.”
AT&T and Microsoft announced a partnership in July worth billions that would let the communications giant use Microsoft’s Azure cloud system for its computing purposes. Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will collaborate on what’s called edge computing, which means that Microsoft technology will be incorporated in AT&T’s forthcoming 5G network.