Both Apple CEO Tim Cook and early Facebook investor Roger McNamee attacked the social media network recently, calling it a “chaos factory” trying to turn users into “data voodoo dolls.”
Business Insider reports that tech industry insiders are becoming increasingly wary of social media platform Facebook, including Apple CEO Tim Cook and early Facebook investor Roger McNamee. During a recent commencement speech at Stanford, Tim Cook attacked Silicon Valley giants in general for behaving irresponsibly but did not specifically name any other companies.
Cook did allude to Facebook, YouTube, and even Theranos, the fraudulent blood testing firm led by Elizabeth Holmes, in his speech stating: “We see it every day now. With every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning our national conversation. The false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood.” Cook added that having good intentions does not excuse these companies from the damage they often cause.
“Whether you like it or not, what you build and what you create define who you are. It feels a bit crazy that anyone should have to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you can’t dodge responsibility for the chaos,” he said. Days earlier, Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor and former mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, appeared in an interview with CNBC. McNamee published the book “ZUcked” in February which criticized the Facebook CEO, McNamee still has some harsh words for firms such as Facebook and Google stating that these firms are: “essentially gathering data about everybody, creating these data voodoo dolls and using that to manipulate the choices available to people do desired things.”
McNamee compared Facebook and Google’s “behavioral manipulation strategy” to the social credit system implemented in China which rewards and punishes citizens based on their behavior. The Wall Street Journal recently claimed that according to sources, Facebook has found emails that appear to show that company CEO Mark Zuckerberg knew more about the firm’s questionable privacy practices than previously thought and are worried about how this will affect the firm from a public relations standpoint.
Currently, Facebook is cooperating with an FTC investigation which pertains to the company’s handling of personal user data, including in reference to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal, but is maintaining that Zuckerberg had no knowledge of the extent of user data mishandling. The social media firm is facing multiple other investigations and lawsuits relating to user data practices, both in the U.S. and worldwide.