Joanna Hoffman, a close advisor to Steve Jobs, says Facebook is 'destroying the very fabric of democracy'

Facebook (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A former Apple great has some strong words for Facebook.
  • Joanna Hoffman was a member of the original Macintosh team, and of one of the few people who could stand up to Steve Jobs.
  • She says some aspects of Facebook were destroying the fabric of democracy and human relationships.

Joanna Hoffman, who worked on the original Macintosh at Apple and was a close advisor to Steve Jobs, has harshly criticized Facebook whilst speaking at the 2020 CogX conference.

As reported by CNBC, Hoffman took a question about "the cult of leadership" in tech, and how people could detach their ego from their own work. In response she said:

"As I look at Facebook, for example, I keep thinking are they really that ignorant or is this motivated by something … darker than what appears?"

She went on saying that although she had "enormous respect" for Facebook's achievements, certain aspects of the platform were "destroying the very fabric of democracy, destroying the very fabric of human relationships and peddling in an addictive drug called anger."

She continued:

"You know it's just like tobacco, it's no different than the opioids. We know anger is addictive, we know we can attract people to our platform and get engagement if we get them p----d off enough. So therefore what, we should capitalize on that each and every time?"

Hoffman joined Apple in 1980 and was the fifth member of the team that worked on the original Macintosh. She is also renowned as being one of the few people who could stand up Steve Jobs. She also worked with him at NeXT before moving on to General Magic. She was portrayed by Kate Winslet in the 2015 'Steve Jobs' movie.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9