Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt believes that the coronavirus should make everyone “a little bit grateful” for Big Tech, and direct their anger at the government instead.
The benefit of these corporations — which we love to malign — in terms of the ability to communicate … the ability to get information, is profound — and I hope people will remember that when this thing is finally over. So let’s be a little bit grateful that these companies got the capital, did the investment, built the tools that we’re using now and have really helped us out. Imagine having the same reality of this pandemic without these tools.
Of course, as Mr. Schmidt undoubtedly knows, reality is never black and white. We can be grateful to Big Tech while also keeping them and their policies in check. The internet is certainly an essential service, and this pandemic is an argument for making the internet a public utility.