Companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube has been embroiled in controversy over the last two years, first due to accusations that they are facilitating radicalization and then that they are suppressing conservative voices.

Microsoft has been lucky enough to stay above the fray, largely due to now owning a social network, but that does not mean the company does not have opinions on how things should be run.

For Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, that starts by taking the decisions, such as whether Donald Trump should be banned from Twitter,  out of the hands of the companies.

“Unilateral action by individual companies in democracies like ours is just not long-term stable—we do need to be able to have a framework of laws and norms,” Nadella said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang. “Depending on any one individual CEO in any one of these companies to make calls that are going to really help us maintain something as sacred and as important as our democracy in the long run is just no way that at least I, as a citizen, would advocate for.”

There have been called from both sides of the aisle to review Section 230, which allows companies to moderate online forums without being liable for user-uploaded content, but in the absence of new legislation, Microsoft thinks competition may be another viable solution.

“Big by itself is not bad, but competition is good,” he said. “And more importantly, you need to have a business model that really is aligned with the world doing well. There are certain categories of products where the unintended consequences of the growth on that category or lack of competition creates issues.”

Microsoft is of course itself facing a new anti-trust complaint from Slack, who has accused it of using its dominance to take over their market. Nadella denied this, saying Windows and Office was an open platform which actually encouraged the growth of rivals.

“I always ask the question, would Slack have even existed if it was not for the free access they had on top of, say, the Windows platform?” he said. “They didn’t have to call Microsoft. They didn’t have to go through any of our app stores. They didn’t need any of our permission compared to any of the other platforms that they’re available on. We perhaps provide the most open platform in Windows and even in Office 365.

Nadella advocated for companies to go through the crucible of anti-trust investigation while they are still young, so that they grow up as better corporate citizens.

Hear from Nadella below:

via onMSFT

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