Facebook should be regulated like tobacco, says tech CEO

Facebook and other addictive technology products should be regulated like cigarettes, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said.

In an interview with CNBC on the sidelines of the annual meeting in Davos, Benioff offered an analogy that compares social media to health issues caused by tobacco and sugar.

He noted that it’s time for the government to step in and start regulating Silicon Valley.

“Here’s a product: Cigarettes. They’re addictive, they’re not good for you. I think that for sure, technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive and we need to rein that back.”

Benioff isn’t the first CEO to suggest stricter regulations for the technology industry. Apple CEO Tim Cook recently gave a statement warning about the potential risks of modern technology and even said that he didn’t want his nephew to use social networking sites.

“We’re the same as any other industry,” Benioff said. Like, “financial services, consumer product goods, food — in technology, the government’s going to have to be involved. There is some regulation but there probably will have to be more.”

During the past year, Facebook had faced a slew of criticism for using algorithms that may have prioritized misleading news and misinformation in people’s feeds.

However, earlier this month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg has resolved to fix the issues with Facebook this year and significantly refocused the customer experience away from divisive news.


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