Cartoon of the Week: Is Facebook the new cigarettes?
Facebook’s influence is growing worldwide, so are the calls for it to be broken up. In an interview about building a business that makes the world a better place, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff made no secret of his feelings towards Facebook, stating that the social network should be regulated by the government.
“It’s addictive, it’s not good for you, they’re after your kids, they’re running political ads that aren’t true … and they’re also acquiring other companies and co-mingling [data those companies have on their users] into theirs”, Benioff said, referencing Facebook (FB)’s acquisitions of Instagram, WhatsApp and other tech platforms. “And I think at that point, because they’re now doing that, that they probably should be broken up. Because they’re having an undue influence as the largest social media platform on the planet”, he said.
This is not the first time Benioff has made such a statement. A year and a half ago, he said that he believed that Facebook posed a danger to both its users and the public. But this time, he elaborated on why.
Even though we all probably already know most of the reasons given the high-profile controversies surrounding Facebook these past few years and it’s likely some of us even agree with these reasons, at least in part, the main reasons why Benioff is not a big fan of Facebook are because of: election interference, Cambridge Analytica, the recording of personal conversations, fake news, data leaks ….
He even compared Facebook to cigarettes due to its addictive and harmful nature. He thinks that Facebook is not only dangerous because of the privacy issue, it’s also dangerous for our health as it causes depression, eating disorders, reduced productivity, bullying and even divorce. There are even studies that back this up.
As a result, Benioff thinks that the government should treat Facebook like it does any other addictive and harmful substance: with regulation
“When it comes to regulation, the government is doing too little, too late”, said Benioff. “The government has to step in.”
But with all this controversy, we can’t forget that the social network has some tangible benefits too, such as connecting people with family and friends and helping businesses reach customers.
With that being said, will ‘non-facebooking’ spaces be created?