Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Sean Parker on Facebook: We created a monster

Sean Parker on Facebook: 'God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains' Sean Parker on Facebook: We created a monster
Heather Davidson | 12 November, 2017, 02:07

Former Facebook president and billionaire Sean Parker has lashed out against the social network and social media in general, pondering what the ramifications of it might be years down the road.

Parker, 38, spoke Wednesday at an Axios event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and while he was officially there to talk about efforts to advance cancer innovation, he apparently went off-script as he began to speak about his status as "something of a conscientious objector" to social media.

"I don't know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because of the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2billion people and.it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other".

"God only knows" what Facebook is doing to our children's brains.

To get there, Parker notes that they needed to give users "a little dopamine hit every once in a while" in the form of a Like. "And that's going to get you to contribute more content, and that's going to get you ... more likes and comments". Parker, current chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, said that the investors and creators - especially Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram cofounder Kevin Systrom, and himself - were all conscious of the so-called validation loop.

Parker, speaking at an Axios event, pulled back the curtain on Facebook's early days, saying it was created to consume people.

A rash of recent studies have found Facebook and other social media impact humans in a myriad of ways, including sexual infidelity, obesity and behaviorial issues, physical intimacy, and even athletic performance. "And we did it anyway", Parker said.

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Parker also shed light on the Facebook's early ethos and outlook.

"As Parker left the stage, he joked that Mark Zuckerberg was going to block his Facebook account".

Zuckerberg, who has asked for "forgiveness" for ways his "work was used to divide people", revealed Facebook's new mission statement this past summer.

"Social media addiction is thought to affect around 5 percent of young people, with social media being described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol", the study stated.

The whole social media experience is created to deliver pleasure in the form of validation from family, friends and likeminded strangers.

Parker said he would tell early holdouts to the platform that "we'll get you eventually".

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