Chamath Palihapitiya says social networks can leave users feeling “vacant and empty”
A former executive of Facebook said he feels “tremendous guilt” over the creation of the site – adding “we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”.
Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president for user growth, said social media was leaving users “vacant and empty”.
He was speaking at a Stanford Graduate School of Business event and urged people to take a “hard break from some of these tools”.
The 41-year-old added: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works.
“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.
“We are in a really bad state of affairs right now.”
Mr Palihapitiya, whose comments were made in November but have only recently been reported, said the sites can leave users feeling “vacant and empty”, but went on to say that the company “overwhelmingly does positive good in the world”.
He said: “We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded in these short term signals – hearts, likes, thumbs up.
“And we conflate that with value and we conflate that with truth.
“Instead, what it is is fake brittle popularity.”