Eric Schmidt Tells Jewish Group Internet is ‘Best Thing Ever Invented to Combat Prejudice’
The Internet is the best tool to fight hatred, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told a group of Jewish activists on Monday evening.
“I actually believe that the Internet is the best thing ever invented to combat prejudice,” he told attendees at a dinner hosted by human rights group the Anti-Defamation League at New York City’s Mandarin Oriental hotel. “Hate thrives in isolation. You get someone who teaches the wrong answer – intolerance, hatred, discrimination – and they do it in the little cone of isolation because modern society doesn’t tolerate it. They’re hidden. They’re doing it in the corner, they’re doing it in the backroom, they’re doing it in the basement… the thing that the Internet does is that it allows you to detect this.”
Accepting the ADL’s International Leadership Award from the group’s longtime leader Abraham Foxman, Schmidt asserted that with the Internet, attempts to galvanize hatred “will never go undetected again.”
“All the cards of prejudice are on the table. If you’re prejudiced we’re gonna find out,” he said. “Fabrications, these lies, which are ridiculous, but ultimately hurtful and bad, can be revealed… we can identify these hate mongers and these sorts of people who send these messages who we believe so fervently make the world a worse place, not a better place.”
Schmidt also praised his fellow honoree at the event former Israeli president Shimon Peres as being partly responsible for his interest in Israeli investments.
“Mr. President, there’s a reason you deserve some special credit. You took the steps to create in the military the technical teams 20 years ago that are now the basis of one third of the gross national product of Israel in technology,” he told Peres, “that, by the way, is why I’m a big investor in Israel.”