Facebook rebuffs ex-executive’s claims, says it ‘was a very different company back then’

Victor Barreiro Jr.
Facebook rebuffs ex-executive’s claims, says it ‘was a very different company back then’
'Facebook was a very different company back then and as we have grown we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too,' says the company

MANILA, Philippines – Facebook responded late Tuesday evening, December 12, to a video talk with former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya, who advised people to take a “hard break” from social media, including Facebook, citing how it was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”

In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Chamath has not been at Facebook for over 6 years.”

Facebook added, “When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world. Facebook was a very different company back then and as we have grown we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too.”

The company said it works with academics and uses the information gleaned from their research into the effects of social media to make choices in its product development. 

Facebook added, “We are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made.” 

The Verge adds that Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg once told investors he was serious about that push, adding, “Protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profit.”

In an interview with CNBC, Palihapitiya also went on record to say his remarks were more regarding social media in general, and that he was not directly attacking Facebook. 

“I owe those guys everything,” he said. “They made me.”

Facebook’s full statement is as follows:

Chamath has not been at Facebook for over six years. When Chamath was at Facebook we were focused on building new social media experiences and growing Facebook around the world. Facebook was a very different company back then and as we have grown we have realized how our responsibilities have grown too. We take our role very seriously and we are working hard to improve. We’ve done a lot of work and research with outside experts and academics to understand the effects of our service on well-being, and we’re using it to inform our product development. We are also making significant investments more in people, technology, and processes, and – as Mark Zuckerberg said on the last earnings call – we are willing to reduce our profitability to make sure the right investments are made. Rappler.com

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.