Facebook acknowledges former executive's criticism; states that it was a "different company" six years back

Ex-Facebook Vice President of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya who criticised Facebook for causing societal harm while addressing students at the Stanford Graduate School of Business has now received a response to his comments from his former employers.

Former Facebook Vice President of User Growth, Chamath Palihapitiya. Image: Reuters

Former Facebook Vice President of User Growth, Chamath Palihapitiya. Image: Reuters

According to a report by Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson has responded to the criticism, pointing out that the social media giant was a "very different company" back when Palihapitiya worked at the place. "When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world. Facebook was a very different company back then, and as we have grown, we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too," said the spokesperson in a statement.

Palihapitiya had stated that Facebook is built on psychology that creates a dopamine-fueled feedback loop. Dopamine is commonly associated with reward-motivated behaviour, creating a sense of short-lived achievements. The former Facebook employee added that he feels "extreme guilt" for having co-created a tool that is "ripping apart the social fabric of how society works."

In an attempt to reassure users that Facebook had evolved as a company since Palihapitiya's departure from there six years ago, the statement read, "We've done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we're using it to inform our product development."

"We are also making significant investments more in people, technology and processes, and as Mark Zuckerberg said on the last earnings call, we are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made," the statement added.

Updated Date: Dec 13, 2017 12:39 PM