With more and more indications that Facebook (FB) and other social media sites are addictive, one high-powered Silicon Valley CEO has a solution: regulate it.
Salesforce (CRM) CEO Marc Benioff compared social media to the tobacco industry, suggesting that the government regulate it in the same way.
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Speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Alley at Davos, Benioff said, “I think that you do it exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry. Here’s a product: cigarettes. They’re addictive, they’re not good for you.”
Similarly, technology has “addictive qualities” that need to be addressed. Instead of allowing product designers to make these products more addictive, “we need to rein that back,” Benioff explained.
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Benioff added that technology should be like “any other industry” in that the government is “going to have to be involved.” While there is already some regulation, Benioff argued that “there probably will have to be more.” It is the government’s responsibility to step in and provide clarity about whether social media is harmful, he explained, in the same way that it sets regulations around smoking and drinking.