Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker: site made to exploit human 'vulnerability'

Sean Parker ex-president of Facebook.   Theo Wargo  Getty Images for Global Citizen

Sean Parker ex-president of Facebook. Theo Wargo Getty Images for Global Citizen

Facebook's founding president said the social media platform intentionally exploits "a vulnerability in human psychology," which he hinted could have negative impacts on the brain and society at large.

"[Facebook] literally changes your relationship with society, with each other".

"God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains", Parker said in an Axios interview published Thursday, Nov. 9.

Parker also said the thought process that went into building Facebook was about trying to figure out how to consume as much of a user's time and conscious attention as possible. "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. This, in turn, will get people to contribute more content, generate more Likes and comments (and so on).

Parker, whose stake in Facebook made him a billionaire, criticized the social networking giant at an Axios event in Philadelphia this week.

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.

Referencing Facebook's fledgling early days, Parker recalled some early resistance he encountered to the idea of sharing one's most intimate - some would even say trivial - personal details with the rest of the world. Or Kevin Systrom, founder of Instagram, which Facebook owns.

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

Parker on Wednesday drilled into the addictive nature of Facebook that keeps so many of us coming back.

Parker, the 37-year-old founder of Napster, focuses a lot of his time nowadays running his eponymous Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. And we did it anyway.

With all of these highly-revealing comments now available to the public, he joked that Zuckerberg will probably suspend his Facebook account. A 2017 study conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health, a United Kingdom -based health charity, found that people who use platforms such as Facebook and Instagram were more likely to have anxiety, depression and sleep issues. "Perhaps it's just wistful thinking on my part, but it seems to me that it's Zuckerberg who should be anxious that more and more people might start carrying out this blocking all on their own", he commented on his blog.

ISIS Has Retaken Half of Syrian Border Town
Brakes on odd-even in Delhi as NGT rejects exemptions