The co-founder of Reddit has given a grim prediction about the future of the tech world after comparing Facebook to the all-conquering Marvel villain Thanos.
38-year-old Alexis Ohanian, who founded Reddit in 2005, recently spoke to Dan Leony of the Wharton Business Daily radio show where he claimed that the likes of Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google might soon be unstoppable without government action.
“The mood has definitely shifted in tech over the last few years in particular,” Ohanian began by saying. “I’m talking about the sort of broader, the non-FAANG ecosystem. Where I think it is now very obvious that there isn’t going to be anything to stop the march of FAANG short of government intervention.”
FAANG is the collective term used in the tech industry used to describe the aforementioned five big tech companies.
Ohanian continued by comparing Facebook, in particular to Thanos and the supervillain’s “inevitable” quest to destroy half of the universe in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Talk about Thanos saying, ‘I’m inevitable,’ like Facebook growing to a two trillion-dollar company is inevitable, short of government intervention,” said Ohanian.
"I think it is now very obvious that there isn't going to be anything to stop the march of #FAANG short of governme… https://t.co/DCNn6q2GS2
— Wharton Business Daily (@Wharton Business Daily)
Unlike the unprepared Avengers in Infinity War, where Thanos managed to achieve his goal, Ohanian hopes that the US government is a bit more clued up on things and manages to have a strategy about what may be on the horizon. He added: “I hope the conversations in DC, although they are not often, I hope they are well informed about technology because oftentimes a heavy hand in government ends up having unintended consequences that actually stifle more innovation.”
An investigation carried out by US lawmakers in 2020 into the big four online tech companies and the competition surrounding them concluded that they possessed “the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons.”
Tech companies like Facebook are facing potential lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission, which is now run by big tech critic Lina Khan who is conducting antitrust investigations. In June, Congress introduced plans to make the big tech firms evenly distribute their business in order to end their monopolies.
As you may have seen the Avengers did manage to defeat Thanos in Endgame but that was just a movie and there would still appear to lot to do before authorities and regulators can get a grip on the power of big tech firms.