Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Ex-Facebook President Sean Parker: Network 'Exploiting' Human Psychology

Sean Parker Slams Facebook for 'Exploiting a Vulnerability in Human Psychology' Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker says social media site exploits human weakness is its bid to 'consume as much time and conscious attention as possible'
Garry Little | 12 November, 2017, 02:03

The 38-year-old tech tycoon - whose hardball exploits as Facebook's first president were depicted in Aaron Sorkin's 2010 Hollywood flick "The Social Network" - said Facebook is created to exploit "a vulnerability in human psychology" to get its users addicted.

"It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other", Parker said, according to Axios.

"God only knows" what Facebook is doing to our children's brains. Users post something, they get comments and likes, and they post more.

"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.

Parker added that the social networks' creators, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram's Kevin Systrom, "consciously" understood the implications of trying to keep users hooked on their products.

If you've followed Facebook closely from the beginning (or have watched The Social Network), you'll be familiar with the role Sean Parker played in the creation of the company.

The tech investor, also a co-founder of Napster and, perhaps most recognizably, the guy played by Justin Timberlake in "The Social Network", said Facebook was created to exploit the way people fundamentally think and behave.

These days Parker is the founder of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and, in this capacity, he spoke yesterday at an Axios event on the topic of the fight to cure cancer.

Facebook has been attacked by one of its founding members for "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology" and putting children's mental health at risk.

But Dr Highfield says it hard to know what impact this is having because "we don't know necessarily how people are using the platforms". And we did it anyway.

Parker left the stage joking that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would block his account after learning of his comments.

And he sounds a little remorseful about some of the choices made in Facebook's early years.

Thanks mostly to his brief stint at Facebook, Parker's net worth is estimated to be more than $2.6bn. The three tech giants testified in marathon congressional hearings last week over the impact of social networks on last year's USA presidential election, and how Russian agents leveraged social media to sow discord among people.

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