Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been critical of Big Tech for some time. In a Wednesday interview, he joined a growing group of lawmakers, technologists and activists who have voiced support for breaking up Facebook.
"It's addictive, it's not good for you, they're after your kids, they're running political ads that aren't true ... and they're also acquiring other companies and commingling [other firms' user data] into theirs," Benioff said, in reference to Facebook's acquisitions of Instagram, WhatsApp and other companies, in an interview with CNN. "And I think at that point, because they're now doing that, that they probably should be broken up. Because they're having an undue influence as the largest social media platform on the planet."
In January 2018, the tech exec told attendees at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, that social networks should be regulated much like Big Tobacco due to their addictive qualities.
"We're in a world where very advanced technologies are at our fingertips, and where we can do magical things," Benioff told CNN. "But that also means that trust must be our highest value. And you have to ask yourself: Is trust your highest value? If it's not your highest value, then what is it?"
Benioff also reportedly took issue with Facebook's recent decision to run political advertisements from the Trump campaign that contain false claims, which earned the tech giant a clapback from Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. The 2020 presidential contender, who has been rising lately in the polls, has made the breakup of Silicon Valley companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook a pillar of her campaign.
"I think this is extremely important in the age of social media, because they have the information of who those persuadables are, and various political organizations are targeting those groups," he said. "That's the insight from the 2016 election. It's a very vulnerable moment right now."