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Former Facebook Executive Expresses Guilt for his Role in Creating the Social Media Giant


Former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, who served as vice-president for user growth at Facebook before he left the company in 2011, has said he feels “tremendous guilt” over his work on “tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”. The remarks against his former employer were made to an audience at a Stanford Business School event in November, but were only brought to light this week by tech website The Verge.

In Chamath Palihapitiya’s address he recommended that people should take a “hard break” from social media in general, adding that, “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” he said in reference of course to online interactions driven by “hearts, likes, and thumbs-up.” “No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it’s not an American problem - this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.”

As pointed out by The Guardian, Palihapitiya’s comments last month were made just one day after Facebook’s founding president, Sean Parker, criticised Facebook for “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology” by creating a “social-validation feedback loop” during an interview at an Axios event. It seems that negative sentiment toward the company is rising on the whole, and they will want to be careful to ensure that this does not become a significant hurdle to future success. It is worth noting however that despite his general criticism on their flagship platform, Palihapitiya did later add that he believes the company “overwhelmingly does good in the world”.

“I can’t control them,” Palihapitiya said of his former employer. “I can control my decision, which is that I don’t use that s**t. I can control my kids’ decisions, which is that they’re not allowed to use that s**t.”

Palihapitiya’s comments provide an interesting inside perspective on the massively popular platform and the larger company, and the fact that he still supports their endeavours on the whole is truly telling given his criticism of their best-known service. At this point we would be eager to hear your thoughts on the matter, so be sure to let us know in the comments section below.



Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. Currently working as Editor of Social Songbird, he hopes to one day drop that 'aspiring' prefix. Follow him @Songbird_Sam

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Former Facebook Executive Expresses Guilt for his Role in Creating the Social Media Giant Reviewed by Sam Bonson on Wednesday, December 13, 2017 Rating: 5
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