Marc Benioff just doubled down on comparing Facebook to cigarettes, saying people urgently need protecting from the social network

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce. Photo: Kimberly White/ Getty Images.
  • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff renewed his astonishing attack on Facebook in an interview with MSNBC News, saying the social network is the “new cigarettes.”
  • He said the government needs to regulate big tech in the same way it regulated the cigarette industry because people don’t really understand the products they’re using.
  • Benioff was not specific about how the government should regulate tech, but praised senators like Mark Warner for scrutinizing the industry.

Tech billionaire Marc Benioff has previously compared Facebook to cigarettes, and on Wednesday renewed his attack on the social network in an interview with Kara Swisher for MSNBC News.

“I’ve been saying this now for a while… You look at what’s going on with brands like Facebook. Facebook is the new cigarettes. It’s addictive, it’s not good for you, there’s people trying to get you to use that even you don’t understand what’s going on,” the Salesforce CEO said.

Benioff called for tighter regulation of the social network, saying: “The government needs to step in, the government needs to really regulate what’s happening.” He said this was particularly urgent because Facebook targets children as users.

Benioff was not specific about how exactly the government should regulate tech, but returned to the comparison with cigarettes. “This is the role of government, to protect us… at times of severe change, and you know they did that with the cigarette industry, they need to do that with the technology industry,” he said.

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“Facebook can have very serious effects on society the same way that cigarettes can,” he reiterated, and voiced his support for senators like Mark Warner who have honed in on regulating tech.

Benioff has got form in speaking his mind about his tech contemporaries. He publicly admonished Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey in October for his opposition to San Francsico’s Proposition C, a tax on tech companies to raise funds for the city’s homelessness crisis.

Business Insider has contacted Facebook for comment.