Facebook said Tuesday it's "a very different company" since the time Chamath Palihapitiya worked at the firm, thus responding to allegations its former executive made during November "View From The Top" talk held at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. The talk that can be seen in its entirety in the video below gets heated immediately after the 21-minute mark when Mr. Palihapitiya says he feels "tremendous guilt" about being part of the company that largely created contemporary social media which are now "destroying how society works." Interested watchers should be warned about explicit language use on part of Facebook's former official.
Mr. Palihapitiya's comments were partially made in regards to the recent controversy surrounding fake news and major misinformation campaigns ran by certain foreign actors using Facebook and other social media, though the Silicon Valley veteran specifically stated the issue itself goes far beyond possible Russian interference in the U.S. democratic process and is a truly global problem. Systematic exploitation of consumer behavior on the World Wide Web is another issue largely sparked by social media, the 41-year-old said, suggesting that he and the rest of Facebook's early employees probably knew the platform they were creating has the potential to have extremely negative consequences and weren't doing enough to actively prevent such a scenario. Mr. Palihapitiya joined Facebook in 2005 when the firm was just a year old and left in 2011 to continue pursuing his venture capital ambitions. The Menlo Park, California-based social media giant said the company he recently criticized doesn't exist anymore and is now significantly more socially responsible.
As part of the same rebuttal, Facebook said it was and still is committing significant resources to research pertaining to the effects of its platform on individuals and society as a whole in order to act in a maximally informed and responsible manner. The company spokesperson also reiterated on Mark Zuckerberg's recent remarks about Facebook being willing to sacrifice profits with the goal of achieving a greater good and benefitting the society as a whole, which is a sentiment that some privacy advocates and other people and organizations are still skeptical about.