'Shark Tank' investor Chris Sacca

Chris Sacca Of ‘Shark Tank’ Blames Facebook For Ideology Bubble During Election

Chris Sacca, a guest judge on Shark Tank and early investor in such notable enterprises as Uber, Instagram, and Twitter, may have some money in social media — but he’s not giving Facebook a pass against accusations it helped perpetuate a “fake news” epidemic during the 2016 presidential election.

Sacca, whom Inc. reported in May, 2016, was a supporter of Hillary Clinton, told the Slush conference in Helsinki last week that in his view, Facebook has to take some responsibility for the news bubble created by its technology. As Venture Beat reported, Sacca rejected the idea that Facebook promotes a diversity of media to widen people’s exposure to different opinions.

“When you see Facebook both eager to censor news in China and yet openly saying, oh, we don’t know what to do about the fake news problem in America, it’s b**ls**t.

“We know the filter bubble is real. We know that algorithm really reinforces our channel and keeps you in a tighter bubble than anywhere you would have grown up.”

Sacca went on to say that Silicon Valley workers largely lack real world knowledge, something that is being reflected in the products they release.

“What’s happened is that we’ve developed this real tech bro monoculture of people who have been the product of a lot of privilege. They’ve never actually spent time with the working poor or with anyone whose life has been harder than theirs. They have no sense of the human condition.

“[T]he products are starting to reflect that. The products are insular, they’re not based on empathy, and they’re not based on human connection.”

The investor, who made his fortune largely in Silicon Valley, said he received pushback when he tried to get his colleagues to get involved in the presidential race. They argued that technology should be apolitical, however, according to Sacca, tech platforms are not neutral.

Sacca has also been open about his problems with a company in which he’s still invested, Twitter. He told Bloomberg in early October, 2016, that he has been selling his shares in the 140-character phenom and wants the company to be acquired in order to bring fresh ideas to the platform. In a December, 2016, interview with CNBC, Sacca said Twitter’s recent innovations, such as live video, are not enough to make the platform increase engagement, as it has yet to offer a unique experience for users.

As open as Sacca may be about his opinions, especially with regards to social media’s potential influence on politics, he will still freely admit to past mistakes. Specifically, in another CNBC interview, he admitted to passing on two investments that may have made his already lucrative portfolio even more wealthy: AirBnB and Snapchat.

He feared that AirBnB would be sued as soon as a guest met a tragic fate in a host’s home. Sacca’s issue with Snapchat was its feature that allowed quick deletion of indiscreet photos. The app’s creators approached Sacca after a talk, but he passed on forking over any cash because of Snapchat’s unseemly nature at the time. Those two companies are part of what Sacca calls his “anti-portfolio” of investments on which he missed out.

Sacca began appearing as a guest panelist on Shark Tank during Season 7. He is back for Season 8, and on last Friday’s episode, as Carter Matt recalled, invested in Nomiku on the contingency that earlier investors in the company reduce their share so the original entrepreneurs retained sufficient stock in the company.

Shark Tank airs Friday nights on ABC.

[Featured Image by Alison Buck/Getty Images]

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