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Society being ‘ripped apart’ by social media

Chamath Palihapitiya urged people to take a hard break from social media

A former Facebook executive says he feels "tremendous guilt" over the creation of the social networking site.

Speaking at a Stanford Graduate School of Business event, Chamath Palihapitiya, former vice president for user growth, said "we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works".

The 41-year-old urged people to take a "hard break from some of these tools".

He added: "The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we've created are destroying how society works.

"No civil discourse, no co-operation; misinformation, mistruth.

"And it's not an American problem – this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem.

"We are in a really bad state of affairs right now."

Facebook logos are pictured on the screens of a smartphone (R), and a laptop computer, in central London on November 21, 2016
Mr Palihapitiya says we are in a bad state of affairs

Mr Palihapitiya made the comments in November but they are only just being reported.

He said the sites can leave users feeling "vacant and empty", but went on to say that the company "overwhelmingly does positive good in the world".

He said: "We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded in these short term signals – hearts, likes, thumbs up.

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"And we conflate that with value and we conflate that with truth.

"Instead, what it is is fake brittle popularity."

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