Former Facebook exec feels ‘tremendous guilt’ for what he helped make

Chamath Palihapitiya.

Chamath Palihapitiya.
Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch

  • Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive, said during a November interview at Stanford that social networks were “destroying how society works.”
  • Other early Facebook executives have criticized the company in recent weeks as well.

Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive, said in an interview at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business that social media was damaging society.

The November talk, which was picked up by The Verge on Monday, is another example of early Facebook executives criticizing what they created.

Palihapitiya said a lot during the interview about Facebook’s effect on society, but here’s the money quote:

“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse. No cooperation. Misinformation. Mistruth. And it’s not an American problem. This is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem. So we are in a really bad state of affairs right now, in my opinion.”

Palihapitiya also said that people building Facebook in the early days knew in the back of their minds that the platform could be abused but ignored their instincts.

“I feel tremendous guilt,” Palihapitiya said. “In the back, deep, deep recesses of our mind, we kind of knew something bad could happen.”

Watch the full interview: