Big tech companies a 'threat to democracy' warns former Facebook chef

A ‘threat to democracy’ that could lead to civil war: Big tech slammed by former Facebook chief and star of Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma who is calling for social media reform to end online tribalism

  • Ex-Facebook chief Tim Kendall says Big Tech is a ‘threat to democracy’ 
  •  Kendall was formerly the director of monetization at Facebook until 2010 
  • Believes social media is exacerbating societal divisions through online tribalism 

A former Facebook chief has warned that big tech companies are a ‘threat to democracy’ and could create a civil war unless they are reformed. 

Moment CEO Tim Kendall, who sounded the alarm about social media in the Netflix documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’, warned that companies encourage online tribalism which exacerbates societal divisions. 

Kendall, who was formerly the director of monetization at Facebook from 2006 to 2010, called for big tech companies to be reigned in by the government, adding that ‘extreme outcomes’ were the only ‘logical conclusion’ if no action is taken.  

Former Facebook chief TIm Kendall (pictured) has warned that big tech companies are a ‘threat to democracy’ and could create a civil war unless they are reformed

Documentary The Social Dilemma features a series of top tech experts issuing stark warnings about the addictive qualities of social media

Documentary The Social Dilemma features a series of top tech experts issuing stark warnings about the addictive qualities of social media, how it is designed to keep users coming back for more and manipulates emotion. 

Speaking to Fox News, Kendall said: ‘The attention-based business model of social media companies is a threat to democracy. Full stop. 

‘We as users are attracted to content that entertains us and reinforces our views. ‘Big Social,’ as I call it, knows this and presents information that will keep us coming back to their platforms. 

‘These corporate practices encourage online tribalism that exacerbates the societal division we see today amid unprecedented economic, climate, and public health turmoil.’

He called for tech companies to move away from driving division, misinformation and conflict in what he referred to as ‘exploitative products’. 

Kendall compared the tech industry to ‘Big Tobacco’ and ‘Big Auto’, saying at the heart of all three industries there is an ingredient that is severely detrimental to the world. 

‘Big Tobacco relies on nicotine, Big Auto relies on fossil fuels, and Big Social relies on user attention to generate revenue. 

‘None of these practices are sustainable for a healthy society,’ he said. 

After leaving Facebook, Kendall set up time management app Moment, which is designed to give control back to individuals and helps people to manage the time they are spending on social media. 

The Social Dilemma is available for streaming on Netflix.  

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