Australian mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is pouring $20 million into fighting tech giants Google and Facebook.
Forrest is calling on academics from across the globe as part of his new Tech Impact Network.
The coordinated research effort will focus on tackling lawlessness, empowering workers and reimaging tech over the next five years.
“We need a massive up-tick in education and governance to wrestle with the very real harms caused by the tech sector,” Forrest told the AFR.
“It is time to examine why tech companies are so unregulated and allowed to get away with so much that would not be tolerated in any other industries.”
The network is backed by Forrest’s charity Minderoo and has so far recruited researchers from the University of Cambridge, The University of Western Australia, UCLA, New York University and the University of Oxford.
Forrest’s likeness was recently used in a cryptocurrency scam that saw one woman lose $670,000, prompting the mining boss to send a letter to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
“As your socially reprehensible recalcitrance has continued, a concerted international effort is required to secure independent oversight and accountability for Facebook’s operations,” he said in the letter.
“Is revenue more important to you than the life savings of elderly people, Mr Zuckerberg.”
Forrest’s move against the tech giants follows the ACCC’s recently announced mandatory bargaining code, which will see Google and Facebook forced to pay media businesses for news content for the first time.
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