Social media "ripping apart" society, former Facebook executive says

A former Facebook executive criticized the company he once worked for and social media as a whole, saying it is "ripping apart the social fabric" in societies around the world

Posted: Dec 12, 2017 8:13 PM

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- A former Facebook executive criticized the company he once worked for and social media as a whole, saying it is "ripping apart the social fabric" in societies around the world, CBS San Francisco reports. Chamath Palihapitiya, who previously served as Facebook's vice president for user growth, expressed "tremendous guilt" and urged people to take a "hard break" from social media during a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

"I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works," said Palihapitiya, who left the social media giant in 2011 and now heads The Social+Capital Partnership, a venture capital fund.

"No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth," he went on to say.

Palihapitiya said the problem is not just isolated to Russia-backed ads and the 2016 presidential election, which led officials from Facebook, Twitter and Google to answer questions in Congress. The former Facebook executive cited an incident in India where innocent people were lynched after hoax messages about kidnappings were shared on WhatsApp.

"I just don't use these tools anymore, I haven't for years. It's created with a huge tension with my friends, it's created a huge tension in my social circles," Palihapitiya said. "If you look at my Facebook feed, I probably posted two times in the last seven years."

Palihapitiya also said that his children "aren't allowed to use this s**t."

But the former executive went on to say that the company "overwhelmingly does positive good in the world."

CNET reports that Facebook responded Tuesday to Palihapitiya's comments with a statement saying in part that the company realizes its "responsibilities have grown" along with its size:

"When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world. Facebook was a very different company back then, and as we have grown, we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too," the statement read. "We take our role very seriously and we are working hard to improve. We've done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we're using it to inform our product development. We are also making significant investments more in people, technology and processes, and -- as Mark Zuckerberg said on the last earnings call -- we are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made."

Last month, former Facebook president Sean Parker criticized the social networking giant, saying it is "exploiting a vulnerability in human society."

"It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains," Parker told the news site Axios.

Others in Silicon Valley have also expressed concern about the addictive nature of social media and mobile apps. Former Google engineer Tristan Harris told "60 Minutes" earlier this year that companies have a "whole playbook of techniques" to keep people glued to their apps as long as possible.

CBS News' Carter Evans reports that a Pew/Journal of Youth Studies show 92 percent of teen go online daily and 1 in 5 young people regularly wake up in the night to send or check messages on social media.

Jim Steyer -- founder of Common Sense Media -- also spoke out about social media.

"We're not suggesting the leaders of tech companies are evil," Steyer told CBS News. "But they in many case have ignored the consequences of some of the downsides of the innovations they brought to our society."

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Terre Haute
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 70°
Robinson
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 70°
Rockville
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 67°
Casey
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 69°
Brazil
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Marshall
Overcast
70° wxIcon
Hi: 86° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 70°
Afternoon showers possible.
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 196699

Reported Deaths: 7846
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1119484928
Lake12741446
DuPage12312520
Kane9803305
Will9315344
St. Clair4028161
Winnebago3784131
McHenry3218114
Madison263476
Kankakee178768
Rock Island175636
Champaign168619
Peoria163035
Kendall137923
Unassigned1358209
Sangamon127433
DeKalb93830
LaSalle78324
Boone76623
Jackson72219
McLean65515
Macon64123
Tazewell5918
Adams5425
Coles48720
Randolph4707
Clinton41117
Ogle4115
Williamson4096
Whiteside35917
Stephenson3306
Grundy3265
Union32423
Monroe31813
Knox3031
Jefferson29019
Morgan2686
Iroquois26511
Henry2481
Vermilion2362
Cass23111
Bureau2153
Franklin1910
Warren1910
Perry1841
Macoupin1813
Lee1731
Montgomery1697
Effingham1621
Marion1610
Woodford1523
McDonough14615
Christian1434
Saline1322
Jo Daviess1271
Douglas1222
Logan1220
Livingston1162
Jersey1152
Pulaski941
Clark832
Shelby801
Mercer764
Moultrie740
Johnson690
White690
Fayette673
Washington670
Piatt630
Bond623
Hancock621
Wayne621
Carroll594
Jasper597
Greene580
Cumberland573
Menard560
Mason530
Gallatin512
Lawrence500
Ford492
Massac400
Alexander370
Wabash350
Fulton340
De Witt330
Crawford290
Edgar290
Hamilton290
Marshall270
Clay230
Pike230
Scott210
Richland200
Edwards180
Hardin180
Schuyler180
Brown140
Henderson130
Putnam130
Calhoun100
Pope90
Stark70
Out of IL00

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 74992

Reported Deaths: 3044
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15963725
Lake7632275
Elkhart488385
Allen3937163
St. Joseph354682
Hamilton2803104
Vanderburgh199713
Hendricks1901108
Cass17969
Johnson1767118
Porter133839
Clark124447
Tippecanoe122111
Madison98765
LaPorte92130
Howard90565
Kosciusko86212
Bartholomew80147
Floyd79146
Marshall79022
Monroe75930
Delaware73852
Dubois70012
Noble68429
Boone68346
Hancock67038
Vigo66810
Jackson5885
Warrick58630
LaGrange55910
Shelby55827
Grant52830
Dearborn50828
Morgan48334
Clinton4403
Henry38520
Wayne37710
White37210
Montgomery35421
Lawrence35027
Harrison34123
Decatur33832
Putnam2908
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25134
Jasper2452
Franklin24314
DeKalb2354
Gibson2284
Jennings22612
Steuben2113
Ripley2087
Carroll1932
Fayette1907
Perry18612
Starke1787
Posey1770
Orange17324
Wells1712
Wabash1703
Fulton1692
Jefferson1652
Knox1590
Whitley1546
Tipton14311
Washington1421
Spencer1363
Sullivan1341
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1234
Newton11810
Adams1022
Jay920
Owen911
Pulaski831
Rush804
Brown741
Fountain742
Blackford652
Ohio655
Benton620
Pike560
Vermillion550
Parke521
Switzerland520
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren231
Unassigned0206