Early investor and Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker has admitted that the network was built to “consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible.”
At an Axios event, Parker shed light on Facebook’s early ethos. He explains how Facebook is designed to “give you a dopamine hit every once in awhile because someone liked or commented on your post.” He went on to say “that is going to get you to contribute more content and that’s going to get you more likes and comments.” He concluded that the network was a “social validation feedback loop.”
“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway,” Parker said.
Parker is a stream founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He has accused the social media platform of exploiting human “vulnerability” using psychology and appears to be concerned with the effect this is having on us. He warned about the unknown societal consequences of widespread social media use, saying that he had become “something of a conscientious objector” against social platforms. “The unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” the billionaire said onstage at the National Constitution Center during an event that also focused on his work supporting cutting-edge cancer research. “It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” Sean Parker said.
Image Credit: Flickr / Axios
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