BBC’s Tony Hall urges break with US tech giant hegemony

BBC’s Tony Hall urges break with US tech giant hegemony

BBC director general Tony Hall will issue a clarion call to action against the hegemony of US technology giants as part of a rearguard action to protect British values.

Pitching the public broadcaster as David in a fight against the Silicon Valley Goliaths, Hall will warn that social unease and division risked spreading unchecked if the dominance of ‘west coast giants’ went unchecked, according to the Guardian.

Reserving the bulk of his ire for Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix during an address to BBC employees, Hall will say: “Technology and social media can add to this sense of social unease and division. Too often, it can distort our view of one another and allow us to live in imagined communities where we only really engage with those who share our views.

Fake news compounds that challenge, eating away at trust in the media – including in the BBC – and blurring the lines between reality and so-called ‘alternative facts’."

Hall’s fears are stoked by rapid consolidation in the media sector, and he will warn that the global industry could wind up being controlled by four or five businesses located on America’s west coast – none of which are likely to have much affinity with Britain.

Against this bleak backdrop Hall casts the BBC as a bulwark against these shifts, pledging to invest in homegrown talent, content and creativity, led by a 'revolution' of its iPlayer service.

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