The former Facebook executive who stated that social media was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works” has backtracked on his previous statements, saying now that he loves Facebook.
Gizmodo reports that Chamath Palihapitiya, the former Facebook executive who recently stated his belief that social media was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” and that he felt “tremendous guilt” over his role in turning Facebook into what it is today, has attempted to walk back his previous statements. “My comments were meant to start an important conversation, not to criticize one company — particularly one I love,” stated Palihapitiya on Facebook.
“I genuinely believe that Facebook is a force for good in the world, so I’d like to expand on my comments before we break for the holidays,” stated Palihapitiya, “In 2017, many of us have grappled with the unintended consequences of the products we’ve built. Social media platforms in particular have been used and abused in ways that we, their architects, never imagined. Much blame has been thrown and guilt felt, but the important thing is what we as an industry do now to ensure that our impact on society continues to be a positive one.”
Palihapitiya continued, “Facebook has made tremendous strides in coming to terms with its unforeseen influence and, more so than any of its peers, the team there has taken real steps to course correct. They’ve begun important efforts to protect elections, promote more civic discourse and remove or reduce the spread of fake news, polarization and sensationalist content. I know they are investing to do even more in the future.”
Palihapitiya then stated his confidence in Facebook’s judgment as their role in society grows, “My comments were meant to start an important conversation, not to criticize one company — particularly one I love. I think it’s time for society to discuss how we use the tools offered by social media, what we should expect of them and, most importantly, how we empower younger generations to use them responsibly. I’m confident that Facebook and the broader social media category will succeed as they navigate this uncharted territory.”
It seems that Palihapitiya may have regretted his previous comments about the company that he worked at six years ago. Facebook commented on Palihapitiya’s previous statements saying, “Chamath has not been at Facebook for over six years. When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world. Facebook was a very different company back then and as we have grown we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too.”
Read Palihapitiya’s Facebook post about the topic in full here.