Billionaire LA Times owner calls 'fake news' and how it spreads on social media the 'cancer of our time'

  • LA Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong advocates for a change in how people consume news on social media.
  • Social platforms may have revolutionized how people get information, but they've also been criticized for spreading fake news.
  • "The short attention span we're creating in this millennium is actually very dangerous," he says.

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong on Wednesday advocated for a change in how people consume news on social media, calling misinformation and how it's spread the "cancer of our time."

"The short attention span we're creating in this millennium is actually very dangerous," said Soon-Shiong, the new owner of the Los Angeles Times. "It's the unintended consequences of social media."

Soon-Shiong, also chairman and CEO of biotech firm NantKwest, was responding to a question about the state of media and its relationship to social networks.

Platforms such as Facebook's News Feed have revolutionized how people consume media and how news organizations deliver content. But they have also been criticized for spreading so-called fake news and misinformation.

Soon-Shiong, a former surgeon, told "Squawk Alley" that fake news is the "cancer of our time and social media is a form of metastasis of news. We need to change that."

He said people cannot differentiate from "fake news," "real news" or "opinion news" on Facebook.

Soon-Shiong took control of the LA Times for $500 million in June. He joins the ranks of billionaires Marc Benioff and Jeff Bezos, who have also purchased media companies.

Benioff just bought Time magazine for $190 million in cash from Meredith Corp. Bezos owns The Washington Post.

CORRECTION: This story has been revised to clarify that Soon-Shiong was referring to fake news on social media as the "cancer of our time."

WATCH: The man who "invented" the #hashtag and how it changed social media