Facebook comes under a lot of criticism for its treatment of user privacy. However, many experts also blame the company for something even larger and more insidious — reprogramming our minds. That’s why a prominent tech leader blasted the social media giant this week, comparing it to big tobacco and saying it should be regulated.
Speaking with CNBC, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff compared social media to a health issue and said it should be regulated just like any other industry.
“I think that you do it exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry. Here’s a product: Cigarettes. They’re addictive. You know, they’re not good for you… There’s a lot of parallels,” Benioff said. “Technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive and we need to rein that back.”
These comments came on the heels of similar recent criticism from former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, who accused the company of creating “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops” that are “destroying how society works.”
If tech experts like these guys are speaking this harshly about how Facebook is affecting our minds, it might be time for the rest of us to sit up and pay attention.