‘It has to stop now.’ Marc Benioff says Facebook doesn’t care about misinformation

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“This digital revolution really has the world in its grip. And under that grip you can see the amount of mistrust and misinformation that is happening,” Benioff told CNN.

“Look at how it affects the world. You can talk about the political process. You can talk about the climate. You can talk about the pandemic,” Benioff said. “In every major topic, it comes down to the mistrust that occurs and especially the amount of it sown by social media. It has to stop now.”

“Level of deception”

The Selling power (CRM) CEO steps up criticism of Facebook following a Wall Street Journal survey who used internal documents to show that the company is not only well aware of the negative effects its platforms have on users, but also how it has repeatedly failed to address it.
Over the summer, the White House lobbied tech companies, including Facebook, to curb vaccine misinformation. Facebook took action against the so-called “disinformation dozen” a month later.

“Some of these social media companies, especially Facebook, you can see that they don’t really care that their platform is filled with all of this misinformation,” Benioff said.

The tech billionaire has called on Congress to crack down on Facebook’s misinformation problem.

“I own Time and am held accountable for what is produced on my platform,” Benioff said, adding that CNN and other media are also held accountable. “As far as Facebook is concerned, they are not being held accountable. So they have no incentive from the government. That has to change.”

Benioff urged Congress to review existing laws to try to stop the “level of deception” that is occurring on social media.

Facebook did not respond to requests for comment on Benioff’s criticism.

However, the company published a seven paragraph article blog post last weekend, defending and pushing back the Journal’s investigation.

“At the heart of this series is a simply bogus claim: that Facebook conducts research and then systematically and intentionally ignores it if the results are inconvenient for the business,” wrote Nick Clegg, Facebook vice president of global affairs. , in the Publish. “It challenges the motivations and hard work of thousands of researchers, policy experts and engineers at Facebook who strive to improve the quality of our products and understand their wider impact (positive and negative). . “

After Texas abortion law, Benioff offers to move disgruntled workers

Beyond social media, Benioff has been outspoken on social issues, including the Texas abortion law.
After the law came into effect earlier this month, Salesforce announced it would relocate Texas employees – and their immediate families – if they were concerned about access to reproductive care.

“It happens on a regular basis,” Benioff said. “We have a governor or a president or a ministry of a country who makes some kind of discriminatory statement that upsets our employees and our message to our employees is very simple: if you don’t like it, you can move out. are going to move. “

When asked if the Texas abortion law gives him a break from doing business or expanding in the state, Benioff suggested that Salesforce is not taking a position on the law itself and has added that employees will have different views on these issues.

Salesforce Said It Will Help Employees Leave Texas Due To Abortion Law

“This is not what it is about. It is about telling our employees that we support them, that if they want to move and that they are unhappy that we are moving them,” said Benioff. , adding that if they want to stay “that’s also great.” He said, “Our job is to make sure they have the freedom, and also the freedom, to do whatever they want to do.

Salesforce is based in San Francisco, but the company also has an office in Austin.

“I am a fourth generation San Franciscan. We are the home of gay rights and freedom… Of course we are going to act like this,” Benioff said. “If you don’t like it, we’ll be there for you.”

“We are in a climate emergency”

Salesforce recently became one of the only large companies to publicly support climate investments in President Joe Biden’s $ 3.5 trillion Build Back Better plan.

“We are in a climate emergency,” Benioff said when asked for support from his company.

Salesforce also announced this week that it is a net zero company across its entire value chain and now relies on renewable energy for 100% of its operations.

Although Salesforce supports climate investments in the Build Back Better plan, the Business Roundtable opposed the legislation. The influential group, of which Benioff is a member, warned that tax hikes to pay for new spending endanger millions of jobs, retard wage growth and suppress business investment.

When asked if he would quit the business roundtable, Benioff said the debate was not about the business roundtable and stressed the importance of reducing carbon emissions.

“We all have to go net zero. And it has to happen now,” he said.

The tax hike debate

During speech last week, Biden sought to draw attention to the injustice of the U.S. economy by calling out that 55 large companies paid no federal income tax last year despite billions in profits.
Salesforce is one of these companies.

“Of course, we only pay the tax bill given to us,” Benioff said in response to Biden’s remarks. “And in many cases we have fought for higher taxes.”

The Salesforce CEO stressed his support for a San Francisco voting measure that would fand homeless services by taxing large businesses.

When asked if he supports Democrats’ efforts to raise the corporate tax rate to 26.5%, Benioff said tax reform must not disadvantage American businesses on the world stage.

“If they raise the corporate tax rate, just make sure you keep American businesses competitive,” Benioff said. “It’s the most important thing today.”


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