'You are being programmed,' former Facebook executive warns
A former Facebook executive has accused the social network of ripping society apart.
Chamath Palihapitiya, who worked as Facebook's vice president for user growth, was speaking at an event run by the Stanford Graduate School of Business on 10 November in which he described feeling "tremendous guilt' in helping the company attract two billion users, according to a report published in BBC.
His comments echoed remarks by Sean Parker, one of the early pioneers of Facebook, who spoke on 8 November, saying the social network provided "a dopamine hit and a social validation feedback loop, that exploited a vulnerability in human psychology."
However, coverage this week has seen thousands responding to Palihaptiya's words.
"We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works," he told the audience.
He advised people take a "hard break" from social media, describing its effect as "short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops."
'You are being programmed'
"We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection, because we get rewarded in these short term signals: Hearts, likes, thumbs up," Palihaptiya said.
"We conflate that with value and we conflate it with truth, and instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that's short term and leaves you even more vacant and empty before you did it.
"You don't realise it but you are being programmed."
Despite the critical analysis of social media, Palihaptiya says Facebook did overwhelmingly positive things.
The Guardian's article has been shared on social media more than 8,000 times. On Tuesday the words 'former Facebook' were trending on Twitter, generating more than 12,000 tweets since Monday morning as social media users discussed Palihapitiya's comments.
Another twitter user posted: "I totally agree with this. I deleted my Facebook account a while ago and I'm only on Twitter, I'm sure one day I'll delete this too. People are forgetting how to communicate in real life."
Some questioned whether it was fair to blame Facebook for society's problems. "It's global corporate greed and their control of governments that's ripping society apart. Facebook is merely an additional means of communication which they also control," commented another Twitter user.
There was also discussion on Facebook. One Facebook user posted: "Is this irony? Reading about social media damage on social media"
Another said Paliphitiya's criticism of Facebook remained unclear: " I don't see anything disturbing here. He hasn't said why. Is it privacy issues or what?"