Technology CEOs say Facebook should be regulated like the cigarette industry


Marc Benioff, chief executive of Salesforce, said Facebook should be regulated like a cigarette company because of the addictive and harmful nature of social media.

Benioff told CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the social network will be “exactly the same as managing the cigarette industry.” “There’s a product here – cigarettes – they’re addictive, bad for you, and there may be different kinds of power trying to get you done for something. There are many similarities.
He added: “Of course, technology has the addictive features we have to address, and product designers are trying to make those products more addictive and we need to minimize the use of those products.”

Benioff founded Salesforce, a B2B cloud computing company in 1999, now worth more than $ 4 billion, suggesting that some form of regulation is inevitable for the technology industry.

He said: “We are like any other industry.” Financial services, consumer goods, food, technology, and government will have to be involved. There are some rules, but there may be more. ”

In recent months, a series of Silicon Valley leaders have voiced their fears that they fear social media may be more psychologically harder than anyone expected. Last week, venture capitalist Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor, wrote a guardian column warning that companies would have to “address the damage the platform poses as a result of addiction and exploitation by bad actors. “.
“I was a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg, but I have not been able to talk to him about it, and unfortunately, all Internet platforms are out of critics, putting users at risk,” wrote Mike Nami. .

Earlier, Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker, described the social media company’s business practices as “a social validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that hackers like me do Because you are using human psychology. ” Parker now describes himself as a “conscience opponent” of social media.

As part of its attempt to reclaim control of narratives, Facebook has announced that it will begin to consider how to trust publishers as part of its news feed algorithm. However, the company’s indicator of trust is a simple two-question survey, and some investigators question its potential.