Putin Warns of Influence of US Social Media Giants Competing with States, Elected Governments

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Russian President Putin speaks at virtual WEF Davos Agenda week on Wednesday, January 27, 2021. Putin begins speaking immediately after 37:28 (Ruptly, funded in whole or in part by the Russian government). YouTube Tips ⓘ

President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin speaking at the virtual World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos Agenda summit on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 criticized the growing influence of monopolistic social media giants in the United States, saying their impact on society has expanded to a level that they are now able to compete with states or elected governments.

“Digital giants have been playing an increasingly high role in wider society,”

— Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin referred to recent censorships in politics in the United States. Putin did not name any specific social media company, but said, “Here is the question, how well does this monopolism correlate with the public interest?”

Social media companies have billions of users, and people spend a lot of time in those ecosystems. Putin explained that the social media companies provide so many services to users that also consolidate big data and can use the data to manage the community at their own discretion … to usurp and limit the rights of the people to live, to choose, and to speak out. Putin said we all know what happened in the United States.

The next crisis we could face is further tension around the world in foreign affairs with unresolved socio-economic issues could force governments to find scapegoats to redirect the anger of the people. He said the degree of rhetoric is rising.

“We are now talking about economic giants, aren’t we? In certain areas, they are competing with states and their audience can include billions of users.”

— Vladimir Putin

Putin also discussed the stress of the coronavirus pandemic on global stability, and economic inequality worldwide which leads to the growth of populism, and right and left wing radicalism.

Putin said global growth is fundamentally unstable because there are a host of social and economic issues. He said countries need to work together to identify the sources of global tension and move toward economic recovery.


The WEF’s mission is “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.”

The WEF hosts a 5-day annual meeting at the end of January in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland. The WEF attracts about 3,000 business leaders, international political leaders, economists, celebrities and journalists for up to five days to discuss global issues, across 500 sessions.

Putin called for more cooperation among nations.

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