Facebook’s actions have cost all of us, says Salesforce’s Benioff

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on Tuesday ripped social media companies, including Facebook by name, for failing to address misinformation on their platforms.

In an interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer on “Mad Money,” Benioff said that while Facebook’s business has continued to perform well despite a series of scandals in recent years, it’s come at high societal costs.

“When we look at the pandemic we’re going through, when we look at the issues in our political process that we’re going through … it’s misinformation and mistrust that’s been seeding by social networks like Facebook that we need to keep our eye on,” Benioff said.

“It may not have cost them … but it’s cost all of us,” the billionaire tech entrepreneur added. “At some point, somebody is going to say, ‘Wow. This is the source of a lot of these problems.’ You look at what’s going on in the pandemic and the amount of information that’s just plain wrong that’s on there, this has to stop.”

Benioff has not been shy about criticizing Facebook in the past, including in 2018 when he suggested the company’s platform was addictive and damaging for society. “Facebook is the new cigarettes,” he said then.

Benioff’s comments Tuesday follow a series of revelations in the Wall Street Journal that shed light on how Facebook has repeatedly elevated profits over the health and safety of its users. Facebook has pushed back on that reporting and the newspaper of publishing a “mischaracterization of our work and impugning of the company’s motives.”

Benioff referenced the recent Wall Street Journal stories and said he believes it’s clear that at Facebook “trust is not their highest value.”

“I believe in redemption, and I believe in pardoning. I hope one day they’ll make the change, but today, wow. It’s just unacceptable to see this kind of behavior in such a large and important company like that,” Benioff said.

Facebook did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment on Benioff’s remarks.

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