Social networks are great ways for friends and families who may not live close by to communicate with one another and share pictures, videos, and stories. At the same time, social networks are also viewed by some people as a detriment to users and society in general. A former Facebook exec named Chamath Palihapitiya has spoken out against the social network that he has been a part of cultivating, by saying that it is "ripping society apart."
The former exec went so far as to say that he feels "tremendous guilt" for the influence that Facebook has had on people and its ability to manipulate users. Palihapitiya has also suggested that users take a break from using social media and has banned his own children for using the platform. Specifically, the former executive says that the communication system with hearts, likes, and thumbs-up contributes to the spread of misinformation.
Palihapitiya also specifically talked about how hoax messages in India shared on WhatsApp led to the lynching of seven innocent people. During a talk he gave at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, Palihapitiya said, "I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. And it’s not an American problem — this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem."
Palihapitiya isn't the only former Facebook exec that has spoken out against the social network. In November, former Facebook president Sean Parker said, "We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever. And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you ... more likes and comments."
Parker wet on to say that Facebook is a "social-validation feedback loop" and said that "Facebook is exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."