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Facebook is a scourge on society, says former boss

By Alexander Britton

Facebook says it is a different company to the one described by a former executive as ripping apart society.

Former vice president for user growth Chamath Palihapitiya said he feels tremendous guilt over the creation of the site, adding: "We have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works".

He said social media was leaving users "vacant and empty".

Mr Palihapitiya, who was speaking at a Stanford Graduate School of Business event in November, urged people to take a "hard break from some of these tools".

The 41-year-old added: "The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we've created are destroying how society works.

"No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it's not an American problem - this is not about Russian ads. This is a global problem."

However, the social media giant said Mr Palihapitiya had not been at Facebook for over six years.

"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 are also making significant investments in people, technology and processes, and - as Mark Zuckerberg said - we are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made."

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