Former Facebook Exec Rips the Network, Says It Destroys Society

We all know that social media can be toxic sometimes. But hearing that from someone who helped create one of today’s biggest social networking platforms is clearly unexpected.

Chamath Palihapitiya, who was a Facebook executive, recently expressed his concern over social media in general when appearing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. During a public discussion at the school, the former vice president of user growth said in front of the audience that he felt a “tremendous guilt” for helping create tools “that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

He went on suggesting that people need to take “a hard break” from social media, where interactions are driven by “hearts, likes, thumbs-up.” He shared, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation. Mistruth.”

He pointed out that those problems weren’t only America’s. “This is not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem, so we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion,” he continued.

He then used a recent incident in India as an example of how the society is ruined by social media. The incident ended up with seven innocent people getting lynched after false messages about kidnapping were spread around on the Facebook-owned messaging service WhatsApp.

“That’s what we’re dealing with,” Palihapitiya shared. “And imagine taking that to the extreme, where bad actors can now manipulate large swathes of people to do anything you want. It’s just a really, really bad state of affairs.”

Palihapitiya worked with Facebook from 2005 to 2011, during which he collected money to then start his own fund called the Social Capital. The venture capitalist, who also owns the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, further said of social media that he tried to use Facebook as little as possible and completely banned his children from using “that s**t.”

Palihapitiya is hardly the first former Facebook worker to have questioned the impact of the social media on the society. Prior to this, Facebook’s first president Sean Parker openly expressed his regrets over helping build the social networking site.

“I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” Parker said back then. “God only knows that it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

8 thoughts on “Former Facebook Exec Rips the Network, Says It Destroys Society

  • December 12, 2017 at 6:40 pm
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    We have to help ourself to take a break from social media

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  • December 13, 2017 at 8:38 pm
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    he’s not wrong at all. Noam Chomsky was mocking Silicon valley quite well in the end of a talk at Google, saying that it’s time they should start working on something meaningful for humanity and planet.

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  • December 14, 2017 at 9:20 pm
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    Change is just that, change. Some things are lost in the process, but a lot is gained too. I’m not a fan of the direction online social interaction went. There is a lot of extra conversation on social platforms, but very little actual interaction.

    It’s easy to focus on the negative though, especially if you want to draw some attention to yourself.

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  • December 17, 2017 at 6:34 pm
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    semuanya ada baik-buruknya, bijak dalam bermedia sosial tentu bukan hanya menjadi slogan tanpa perbuatan nyata. Dan sekarang ‘orang dibalik layar’ sudah mengungkapkannya jadi mari bergabung menjadi masyarakat bijak bermedia sosial.

    Reply
  • December 19, 2017 at 8:54 pm
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    No need to feel guilt. If it wasn’t facebook, it’d be something else. It’s just a tool and we humans are a bunch of animals that feed and crave for ‘likes’ and attention on social media. The same way we’re commenting on an article on the verge expecting some recs

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  • December 26, 2017 at 9:25 am
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    Although undoubtedly Facebook carries a massive amount of fake news, it is still possible to wade through it and find an alternative view point to the hard left narrative bestowed on us by the MSM.

    Before they take it down…

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  • January 18, 2018 at 9:17 am
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    That picture of Zuckerberg in that room with them all wearing VR headsets encapsulates it, him smiling of course

    And don’t forget he’s an avowed “democrat” who wants to be President

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  • January 19, 2018 at 9:15 am
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    I don’t really use Facebook these days, it’s not possible to opt out of seeing all the trash posted by pages on there. Facebook insists in showing things in the newsfeed that other people have liked, even if they didn’t share that content on their wall.
    I agree that is annoying, but any time one of my friends likes some stupid left/right wing page like Mother Jones or Breitbart for example, I can simply click on the little 3 dots menu of the article and block that site. I never see it again.

    I’ve probably blocked dozens and dozens of those fake left/right “news” sites with very little effort. I have a very clean feed now and I’m enjoying it.

    Reply

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