A former Facebook executive has expressed “tremendous guilt” for his role in creating tools he says are “destroying how society works.”
Chamath Palihapitiya, who left his role as VP for user growth in 2011, says Facebook use has undermined civil discourse and is recommending people take a break from the platform.
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he said in comments reported by The Verge.
“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.
“This is not about Russian ads,” he added, speaking of alleged Russian interference into foreign elections using social media.
“This is a global problem. It is eroding the core foundations of how people behave by and between each other.”
Giving up intellectual independence
The startling comments were made at a Stanford Business School event last month, but are being reported this week for the first time.
Palihapitiya says Facebook users are “being programmed” into unwittingly giving up their “intellectual independence” and must make a choice.
He says he won’t use the platform and is hoping to use the money he made at Facebook as a force for good.
He said: “I can control my decision, which is that I don’t use that shit. I can control my kids’ decisions, which is that they’re not allowed to use that shit.”
Palihapitiya is the second high profile figure to speak out against Facebook this week.
Founding president Sean Parker says Facebook has exploited “a vulnerability in human psychology” by creating a “social-validation feedback loop.”
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