franceinfo: do you think social networks have a responsibility in the events that occurred this week in Washington?
Tariq Krim, digital entrepreneur : We were able to see at the Capitol people with flags who clearly claimed to be extremist groups like Qanon. However, we know that these groups were built on social networks, especially Facebook, via the recommendation algorithm. For years, social media has only amplified these phenomena.
Is there an economic interest in social networks?
We must not forget that these networks have a commercial interest. I even think Trump’s intense Twitter activity saved this company from economic wreckage. Political campaigns and the polarization of politics, particularly in the United States but also elsewhere, have had a positive impact on ad sales. All the players, like YouTube, regularly highlight the hardest and most extreme content to strengthen this advertising manna.
Another subject, digital sovereignty. What is your reaction when Emmanuel Macron says that France is 10 years behind in digital technology?
We can not say that. I found these remarks quite harsh towards the community of French developers. Obviously, the American cloud is ahead but, it should be remembered, it was financed with billions of dollars by the American state. For example, the cloud contract initially won by Amazon was given, by Trump’s decision, to Microsoft, which represented up to $ 10 billion!
What we lack is the investment of the State and French companies in European technologies, so that we can get up to speed. We have immense skills and it just takes more time and money to develop the same functionality that exists in American clouds.
Is it normal that American players are allowed to participate in the European Gaïa X cloud project?
I find this curious because Gaia X was to be a European alternative to American players in order to build a form of federation of European technologies. However, it is not the case. There is probably a trust issue.
Many players think it might be better if Palantir or Microsoft are among the members. However, I think we need to assert ourselves with our own values, even if it is a bit expensive at the start. As we have seen in the past with initiatives like Airbus, this pays for itself in the long term and brings many benefits.