Published: Sat, November 11, 2017
Research | By Derrick Holloway

Facebook exploits 'vulnerability in human psychology', warns former president Sean Parker

Facebook exploits 'vulnerability in human psychology', warns former president Sean Parker

And what is worrying Parker more is that Facebook's growth has been achieved by 'exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology'.

"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?'" Parker told Axios in an interview. All people crave is appreciation and fame, and that's what social networks have given to the netizens. Perhaps they fear what kind of legacy they are bestowing to the next generation.

He asserted that he helped create a monster and suggested jokingly that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg might ban his account after the interview.

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"And I just think the inventors, the creators - it's me, it's Mark, it's Kevin Systrom (the inventor of Instagram) - all these people understood this consciously and we did it anyway".

"It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways". You know, you will be.' And then they would say, 'No, no, no.

Parker joined Facebook when it was five months old in 2004 as president, and advised the young Zuckerberg on how to structure and run his fledgling company.

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This led to the creation of the social-validation feedback loop which would give you little dopamine hits in the form of likes or comments. The three tech giants testified in marathon congressional hearings last week over the impact of social networks on last year's U.S. presidential election, and how Russian agents leveraged social media to sow discord among people. I value the moment.

He says he's not too sure if he really comprehended the impact of social media at the time of its nascency and advent, arguing that there were so many potentially unforeseeable and unintended consequences of a network with users growing by the billions.

Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment on Parker's remarks.

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Parker, whose stake in Facebook made him a billionaire, criticized the social networking giant at an Axios event in Philadelphia this week. Now only has Facebook served as a magnet for new users, the various interactions within it such as likes or comments tend to draw people in even more and keep them engaged; so much that the virtual mode of communication is something accorded more value than interactions in real life.

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