Before everyone was piling on Facebook, Roger McNamee was an unexpected voice demanding controls on privacy and content moderation on the platform, insisting it was bad for both democracy and industry. But before he was against Facebook, McNamee was one of its early backers, as his firm, Elevation Partners, put $210 million into the social network in 2009 and 2010. 

“The people who started these companies are idealistic,” said McNamee at Signal in 2018. “They didn’t set out to cause damage to democracy and public health. They [just] failed to imagine that people would use their products differently than they intended.”

McNamee appeared at Signal with Larry Irving, co-founder of The Mobile Alliance for Global Good, to talk about Facebook, trust in technology and government intervention in tech businesses.

Watch their conversation with John Battelle here: