Former Facebook President Admits It’s ‘Exploiting a Vulnerability in Human Psychology’


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Sean Parker, the visionary techno-elf who cofounded Napster and served as Facebook’s first president, appears to have some regrets about constructing the social behemoth that’s taken over our world, telling an viewers this week, “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

At an Axios occasion on Wednesday, Parker reportedly described as himself turning into “something of a conscientious objector” to social media off-camera earlier than sharing some fascinating nuggets about Facebook and immortality onstage:

When Facebook was getting going, I had these individuals who would come as much as me and they’d say, “I’m not on social media.” And I’d say, ‘OK. You know, you may be.” And then they’d say, “No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.” And I’d say, … “We’ll get you eventually.”

Suckers, Justin Timberlake’s nerdier alter-ego seemingly thought to himself on the time. But greater than a decade later, Parker’s perspective has modified. “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 2 billion people and it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” stated Parker. “It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Parker additionally make clear the Facebook’s early ethos and outlook. “The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’”

They completed that by creating “a social-validation feedback loop” based mostly on giving customers “a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever,” Parker defined. “And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you more likes and comments.”

Now, as a 38-year-old philanthropist and founding father of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, Parker admits that social community “creators” like him and Mark Zuckerberg “understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”

And what’s the payoff for these Silicon Valley elite who made billions off “exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology,” as Parker refers to it?

“Because I’m a billionaire, I’m going to have access to better health care,” he stated. “So I’m going to be like 160 and I’m going to be part of this, like, clbad of immortal overlords. [Laughter]”

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