Facebook responds to former exec who feels 'tremendous guilt' for what he helped make

Brian Ach/GettyChamath Palihapitiya
  • Facebook has responded to recent comments made by a former executive that criticised the company.
  • Facebook says it takes responsibility for how its platform is used and “was a very different company” when the executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, worked there.

A Facebook representative has responded to recent critical comments made by a former executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, saying Facebook “was a very different company” during the period he worked there.

Palihapitiya spoke at Stanford’s business school last month and had harsh words for his former employer, saying Facebook and other social networks “are destroying how society works.” He also implied that early Facebook employees didn’t do enough to stem “unforeseen consequences” of abuse on the platform. His comments were picked up by several news outlets on Monday, including Business Insider.

Here’s the full statement from Facebook, which a company spokesperson sent to Business Insider in an email:

“Chamath has not been at Facebook for over 6 years. 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 realised how our responsibilities have grown too. We take our role very seriously and we are working hard to improve. 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.”

You can watch Palihapitiya’s full Stanford interview here:

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