(JTA) — An early Facebook investor likened the social media site’s practices to Nazi propaganda.
Roger McNamee made the comparison Friday in an interview with the London-based Telegraph. He said Facebook has borrowed methods from Nazi propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels.
“In order to maintain your attention they have taken all the techniques of Edward Bernays and Joseph Goebbels,” said Roger McNamee, also referring to an Austrian-American public relations pioneer known for marketing cigarettes to women. “And all of the other people from the world of persuasion, and all the big ad agencies, and they’ve mapped it onto an all day product with highly personalized information in order to addict you. We are all to one degree or another addicted.”
McNamee, who made a fortune as an early investor in the internet giant, said Facebook was creating a culture of “fear and anger” and was “lowering civil discourse.” He added that the company had “weaponized” the First Amendment to “essentially absolve themselves of responsibility.”
Facebook has come under fire for facilitating the spread of fake news reports, which some people believe swayed the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In September, news reports revealed that the three internet giants allowed the sale of ads tied to anti-Semitic and otherwise bigoted keywords, like “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” and “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’” In both cases, all three companies apologized and said safeguards were being developed to fix the problem.