Thursday, November 9, 2017

Sean Parker on Facebook: We created a monster

Sean Parker on Facebook: We created a monster

Sean Parker, co-founder of Facebook talks about the dangers of social media.  Excerpts:

Facebook “literally changes your relationship with society, with each other,” “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Facebook is designed to exploit “a vulnerability in human psychology” to get its users addicted.

“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,” he said. “And we did it anyway.”

“We need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever,” Parker said. “And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.”

“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?’” he said.

In other words, Facebook and other social media are using cognitive biases to manipulate their readers.

I have written about this manipulation and how to overcome it in my book, Overcoming Cognitive Biases: Thinking More Clearly and Avoiding Manipulation by Others (2017).

"Comedian Bill Maher recently declared, “Apple, Google, Facebook, they are essentially drug dealers.” Similarly, 60 Minutes had a segment on “brain hacking.” What were Maher and 60 Minutes talking about? Brain biases that clog up our thinking and allow us to be manipulated by others."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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