'Peddling in an addictive drug called anger': Steve Jobs' former lieutenant compared Facebook to companies selling cigarettes and opioids

Computer History Museum/YouTube
  • A close adviser of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Facebook peddles in anger, and compared it to selling drugs of cigarettes.
  • "It's just like tobacco, it's no different than the opioids," Joanna Hoffman said at the CogX conference this week, according to CNBC.
  • Hoffman, a member of the original Macintosh team, added that some parts of Facebook are "destroying the very fabric of democracy."
  • Facebook has come under fire recently for not taking down a post by President Trump about the George Floyd protests reading "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
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Facebook traffics in anger like a pharmaceutical company hawking drugs or a tobacco giant selling cigarettes, one of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs' most-trusted lieutenants said at the CogX conference this week.

"It's just like tobacco, it's no different than the opioids," Joanna Hoffman said, according to CNBC.

"We know anger is addictive, we know we can attract people to our platform and get engagement if we get them pissed off enough," she continued. "So therefore what, we should capitalize on that each and every time?"
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Hoffman, a member of the original Macintosh team, made the comments during a panel with her former coworkers from General Magic, an Apple offshoot. She was replying to a question about leadership in the technology industry, CNBC said.

"I keep thinking, are they really that ignorant or is this motivated by something … darker than what appears?" Hoffman said about Facebook.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.
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Hoffman expressed respect for the social-media titan's accomplishments, CNBC said. However, she argued that some parts of its service are "destroying the very fabric of democracy, destroying the very fabric of human relationships and peddling in an addictive drug called anger."

Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm in 2004 and now boasts a $650 billion market capitalization. It has been repeatedly criticized for allowing misinformation, hate speech, and violent content to proliferate on its platform. Zuckerberg recently defended his company's decision not to touch a post by President Donald Trump warning "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" in reference to the George Floyd protests.
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"We think people need to know if the government is planning to deploy force," he said in a Facebook post.

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