“I really support Mark in his engagement in the issues -- he really does understand there's no place to hide any longer,” said Elevation Partners co-founder Roger McNamee to FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday. “But they're doing classic public relations of conceding things that don't matter, that won't actually change the outcome, to try to protect the business model that’s really what is at the heart of the problem.”
McNamee, who is a high-profile tech investor and also the author of “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe,” who helped launch the social media giant and who laid the groundwork for Cheryl Sandberg’s hiring as COO, in addition to deterring Zuckerberg from selling the company to Yahoo for $1 billion, is now the company’s biggest critic. And in his opinion, their focus should be on making their public relations problem go away.
“The business model is dependent on getting people's engagement and by promoting the stuff people engage with,” he said. “You’re naturally going to be promoting hate speech, you're going to promote disinformation, you're going to promote conspiracy theories and they make a lot of money because of promoting that stuff.”
Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, last week called for the breakup the company in an op-ed for the New York Times. McNamee believes he made an “absolutely essential point about the power situation.”
“Facebook and Google are not elected and yet they have more impact on our democracy than anything has ever had in the past. They have more impact on our public health, on our privacy and, frankly, on the economy. And the core issue here is, what are the best ways to handle that?”
What’s more, McNamee said, these big companies are using data from users in exchange for services and it “needs to stop.”
“They're basically using surveillance and purchasing data and trading data to get to know everything about us. They make these digital voodoo dolls of each and every one of us. We have no idea how much data they have. We have no idea what they're doing with it. And we are so dependent on these products without realizing that they're manipulating our behavior,” he explained.