A former Facebook director lashed out at the company's business model during testimony before Congress on Thursday, saying Facebook's focus on driving engagement outweighs its consideration of potential harms.
-In his prepared remarks before a House committee hearing, Facebook's former director of monetization Tim Kendall said Facebook "took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset."
-Now, Kendall says he's worried Facebook is contributing to extremism in the US and is "pushing ourselves to the brink of a civil war."
Facebook's former director of monetization Tim Kendall says he had a role in making Facebook as addictive as cigarettes and worries that Facebook could be just as damaging to its users.
In a testimony before the House Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee published Thursday, Kendall accused Facebook of building algorithms that have facilitated the spread of misinformation, encouraged divisive rhetoric, and laid the groundwork for a "mental health crisis."
"We took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset," Kendall said in prepared remarks submitted to lawmakers ahead of Thursday's hearing. "The social media services that I and others have built over the past 15 years have served to tear people apart with alarming speed and intensity. At the very least, we have eroded our collective understanding at worst, I fear we are pushing ourselves to the brink of a civil war."