Marc Benioff, the often outspoken chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, has once again turned his attention to social media giant Facebook. In an interview with Yahoo Finance, Benioff didn't mince words when he labeled the company as "the new cigarettes. It's addictive. It's not good for you. They are after your kids." During the discussion, he pointed to Messenger Kids, Facebook's latest offering for children that functions as a free video and messaging app that parents can monitor.
This isn't the first time the executive has made the comparison. Benioff has been blunt about the dangers of Facebook publicly since 2018.
The renewed statement comes off the back of Facebook's involvement in several highly publicized scandals. These include Cambridge Analytica influencing the 2016 U.S. Election with Facebook data, the company's links to the Myanmar genocide, and CEO and Founder Mark Zuckerberg’s recent statement that the company won't be fact-checking political ads.
"They're certainly not exactly about truth in advertising," Zuckererg told Brian Stelter from CNN. "Even they have said that. That's why we're really in squarely a crisis of trust when the core vendor themselves cannot say that trust is our most important value. Look, we're at a moment in time where each one of us in every company has to ask a question: What is our highest value?"
Benioff previously urged the government to "step in" during an interview at the Disrupt SF 2019 conference. "[Facebook is] 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 co-mingling [data those companies have on their users] into theirs," Benioff said, referencing Facebook’s acquisitions of Instagram, WhatsApp, and other platforms. "They probably should be broken up. They're having an undue influence as the largest social media platform on the planet," he added.
Despite heading a Silicon Valley company himself, Benioff hopes to buck the trend of becoming a politically apathetic tech leader. He's currently a philanthropist and advocate for ending income inequality, climate change, and homelessness. He also urges other CEOs to become activists and put their money where their mouth is. The executive acquired TIME Magazine in 2018 and stated during the Disrupt conference that he hopes it can be "a steward of trust" and fulfill its journalistic duties.