Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Salesforce CEO Says Facebook Should Be 'Regulated'

Facebook, already taking heat for exploiting vulnerabilities in human psychology to hook people on social media, got lit into again Tuesday, this time by a prominent technology chief executive who said the giant social network is addictive like cigarettes and should be regulated like big tobacco, reports USAToday.

"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," Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told CBNC's Squawk Alley.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: There will have to be more regulation on tech from the government from CNBC.

"I think that for sure, 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."

Benioff is the latest to voice criticism of Facebook and other tech companies for deploying tactics to hijack people's time and attention to the detriment of their well-being. Among those critics are some of Facebook's earliest executives.

In November, Sean Parker, the founding president of Facebook, said in an interview with Axios that he and other executives were guilty of creating a "social-validation feedback loop" to make Facebook psychologically addictive.

Early Facebook executive and former vice president of growth, Chamath Palihapitiya, also accused Facebook of creating "short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops" that are "destroying how society works." He later softened his remarks.

In recent months, Facebook has begun to acknowledge that some social media use can be harmful to mental health, a backflip for the Silicon Valley company which, until recently, rejected a growing body of research showing that Facebook use can spur negative feelings.

Facebook last week announced that it was shaking up the news feed to show more status updates from friends and family that spark meaningful social exchanges.

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