Few Facebook critics are as credible as Roger McNamee, the managing partner at Elevation Partners. As an early investor in Facebook, McNamee was not only a mentor to Mark Zuckerberg but also introduced him to Sheryl Sandberg.
So it’s hard to underestimate the significance of McNamee’s increasingly public criticism of Facebook over the last couple of years, particularly in the light of the growing Cambridge Analytica storm.
According to McNamee, Facebook pioneered the building of a tech company on “human emotions”. Given that the social network knows all of our “emotional hot buttons”, McNamee believes, there is “something systemic” about the way that third parties can “destabilize” our democracies and economies. McNamee saw this in 2016 with both the Brexit referendum in the UK and the American Presidential election and concluded that Facebook does, indeed, give “asymmetric advantage” to negative messages.