Election interference has opened the door for the government to clamp down on social media companies. But while executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter have made multiple trips to testify in front of Congress, there's been no clear movement towards enforcement.
"I think that you do it exactly the same way that you regulated the cigarette industry. Here's a product: Cigarettes. They're addictive, they're not good for you," Benioff told CNBC's "Squawk Alley" on Tuesday. "I think that for sure, technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive and we need to rein that back."
Benioff said that there's confusion about whether social media use is bad for people and it's the government's job to step in and provide clarity for parents. There's a smoking age for cigarettes and regulations around how they can be promoted, but no such rules exist for social media.
Facebook has already taken steps to avoid the same fate as the tobacco industry. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has resolved to fix the issues with Facebook this year and significantly refocused the customer experience away from divisive news.
Regulators are questioning whether Russian ads — viewed by millions of social media users — influenced the U.S. presidential election in 2016.
"We're the same as any other industry," Benioff said. Like, "financial services, consumer product goods, food — in technology, the government's going to have to be involved. There is some regulation but there probably will have to be more."