Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff claimed Facebook is the “new cigarettes” and should be regulated as such in an interview on Wednesday, doubling down on similar comments he made earlier this year.
“I’ve been saying this now for a while… You look at what’s going on with brands like Facebook. Facebook is the new cigarettes. It’s addictive, it’s not good for you, there are people trying to get you to use that even you don’t understand what’s going on,” declared Benioff in an interview with NBC. “The government needs to step in, the government needs to really regulate what’s happening.”
“This is the role of government, to protect us… at times of severe change, and you know they did that with the cigarette industry, they need to do that with the technology industry,” he continued. “Facebook can have very serious effects on society the same way that cigarettes can.”
Benioff made similar comments in January, during an interview with CNBC.
“I think that you do it exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry. Here’s a product: Cigarettes. They’re addictive, they’re not good for you,” the Salesforce.com CEO explained. “I think that for sure, technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive and we need to rein that back.”
Last year, a former Facebook manager also claimed the social network was unable to regulate itself.
“Facebook needs to be regulated more tightly, or broken up so that no single entity controls all of its data,” the former manager expressed. “The company won’t protect us by itself, and nothing less than our democracy is at stake.”
In September, Benioff, a prominent financial backer of failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, purchased TIME Magazine for $190 million.