Former Facebook Executive Warns That Facebook Will Destroy The World

Recommends that people take a "hard break" from social media.
Former Facebook Executive Warns That Facebook Will Destroy The World

Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook vice president for user growth has accused his ex-employer of  creating "tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”.

Speaking at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, he admitted to his audience that he felt "tremendous guilt" about helping Facebook grow into what it has become.

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His criticisms of Facebook were, however, only the tip of the iceberg.

The greater part of his criticism was aimed at the larger universe of social media.

In particular, he attacked the "short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops" that "are destroying how society works". By this, he said he was referring to the "hearts, likes, thumbs up" that guide social interaction online.

“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,” he said.

He pointed out that the drastic effects of social media went far beyond human manners.

In particular, he described an incident in India where hoax messages about kidnappings were shared on WhatsApp. These led to the lynching of seven innocent people.

He is only the latest in a long line of commentators to have spoken out on the damaging effects of social media. 

Apart from its role in influencing the 2016 US election, by becoming a medium for fake news, it has also been unintentionally central to such tragedies as Myanmar's Rohingya crisis.

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