Facebook went on the defensive today, after derogatory comments about social media from investor and former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya went public.
Palihapitiya, while speaking recently at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, said the state of social media, particularly Facebook, “really bums me out.”
He told the audience he feels”tremendous guilt” for helping to shape Facebook into what it has become today.
“I think we all knew in the back of our minds … we kind of knew something bad could happen,” he said. “We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
He went on to describe Facebook as a “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loop” that is “eroding the core foundations of how people behave.”
Facebook took exception to his comments and released a statement to the media in an apparent bid to counteract Palihapitiya’ remarks.
Chamath has not been at Facebook for over six years. 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 realised how our responsibilities have grown too. 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.
Palihapitiya, the founder and CEO of Social Capital, is known for speaking his mind publicly. To hear his comments in full, check out the video below: