Former Facebook Executive Says Social Media Exploits Human 'Vulnerability'

11 November, 2017, 02:00 | Author: Becky Perry
  • Sean Parker ex-president of Facebook.   Theo Wargo  Getty Images for Global Citizen

Parker also said, 'God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains'.

Facebook takes advantage of a vulnerability in human psychology in making its users crave social validation through digital likes and comments, one of the company's earliest investors has said.

Facebook's founders, including chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and Parker himself, understood the implications of exploiting human brains by creating something which "literally changes your relationship with society" - and did it anyway.

'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.

Parker, who previously founded the file-sharing site Napster, joined the Facebook team in 2004 five months after the site had launched as a student directory at Harvard.

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Parker revealed that when they were laying out the building blocks of Facebook, they tried to determine how it could consume as much of people's attention as possible. It's not the first time a tech entrepreneur has disavowed something they've created or been involved with - Programmer Ethan Zuckerman famously penned an apology letter for unleashing pop-up ads into the world several years ago.

Since leaving the company Mr Parker admitted he has become "something of a conscientious objector" on social media.

"So the default for seeing content on Facebook is not that we see it in any kind of of timeline, we don't see it as the most recent post, it gives you more content that you scroll through that then allows it to target more advertising at you", he told the ABC's PM program. So as to get people spending more time on these social networks. He believes that it "probably interferes with productivity in weird ways" and had some even more risky assertions about it.

"If Mark hears this, he's probably going to suspend my account", Parker joked, referring to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. His role in the creation of Facebook was portrayed by Justin Timberlake in the 2010 movie The Social Network. I value presence. I value intimacy.' And I would say, . "You know, you will be".

There have been "unintended consequences", Parker said, now that Facebook has grown to include 2 billion people - two out of every seven people on the planet. His stint at Facebook was shortlived, resigning from the site in 2005 after a cocaine scandal.

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