Last month, three former friends of Facebook spoke out against the social media platform and criticized its affect upon humanity and our social interactions. Sean Parker, Roger McNamee and Chamath Palihapitiya were all involved in Facebook during its earlier days. But recently, they’ve become unhappy with the turn the company has taken, and they’re making it known.
Sean Parker, Facebook’s first president, went first. At the beginning of November, he reportedly told the news site Axios that the “like” and reaction features for posts on Facebook’s platform were a “social validation feedback loop that exploits how human brains work.” He also stated that the company was built as an answer to one question: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”
Not long after Parker spoke to Axios, venture capitalist Roger McNamee, who was an early investor in Facebook as well as Google, wrote an essay for The Guardian that contained criticism for both companies. He accused them of using “persuasive techniques developed by propagandists and the gambling industry” and modern technology to “[appeal] to fear and anger” and encourage addictive behavior.
Lastly, former Facebook Vice President Chamath Palihapitiya weighed in during a talk at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in November. He said that he has experienced “tremendous guilt” over his role in building a company that is “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
A Dec. 15 statement by Facebook, viewable here, seems to be a response to these criticisms.