Roger McNamee, an early tech investor and mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, released a new book Zucked: Waking up to the Facebook catastrophe.
He argues the business models of Facebook and other tech giants are bad for society due to reliance on advertising. McNamee told CNN Business, “Facebook and Google designed their products to create habits that for many people become an addiction. They manipulate attention for profit and enable bad actors to manipulate some users in ways that harm them and others.”
McNamee raised concerns about the potential dangers of Facebook in 2016 when “cruel” and “misogynistic” memes about Hillary Clinton surfaced on pro-Bernie Sanders pages. He later reached out to Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to express his concerns, but believes not much action was taken. News emerged that a Russian government-linked troll group was actively spreading a divide on Facebook during the 2016 presidential elections, resulting in a published blog post from Facebook addressing the issue.
McNamee’s ultimate goal for the book is to “help everyone understand the platforms they love to use have a dark side and what they can do to protect themselves and their children.”
Facebook’s response: “We take criticism seriously. Over the past two years, we’ve fundamentally changed how we operate to better protect the safety and security of people using Facebook. The reality is Roger McNamee hasn’t been involved with Facebook for a decade.”
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