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'Mistruth': Ex-Facebook Exec Blows Whistle on Manipulative Social Media

© AFP 2021 / JONATHAN NACKSTRANDEmployees work at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland
Employees work at the new Facebook Data Center, its first outside the US on November 7, 2013 in Lulea, in Swedish Lapland - Sputnik International
A former Facebook top executive has advised users to take a break from using social media altogether saying it is “eroding human interaction” and decried the tech giant’s role in the decline of civility, media reports said.

Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels “tremendous guilt” about Facebook’s ability to manipulate people.

“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” he told an audience at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

He then advised people to take a “hard break” from social media.

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“The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth,” said Palihapitiya in remarks carried by the tech website the Verge.

Chamath Palihapitiya resigned from his Facebook post in 2011.

He added that people are actually being “programmed” by social networks without even knowing it.

His criticism was aimed not only at Facebook, but other social networks as well. The scale and power of these networks, he warned, allows evil agents to influence massive swaths of users, artificially skewing elections and the public’s perception of important issues, wrote.

Palihapitiya’s eye-opening comments came just a day after Facebook’s founding president, Sean Parker, turned Facebook into a multi-billion dollar business with two billion users to date, admitted that he and Mark Zuckerberg had created  a monster by “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

READ MORE: Facebook Psychological Targeting Helps Influence People's Feelings — Scholar

Social networking companies have recently come under increased scrutiny in Europe and the US with politicians and regulators considering their role in stocking up political divisions across the world through the use of popular platforms that dominate online discourse.

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