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Founder’s remorse Sean Parker’s Facebook regrets

Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker has spoken of his regrets about the power and reach of social media.   Speaking to Mike Allen from Axios Parker described how he had no idea what he was doing when he helped build Facebook.

In his Oppenheimer moment Parker said of social media: “God only knows what it is doing to our children’s brains.”

sean parker

Sean Parker – Image credit: DFree / Shutterstock.com

What did he say?

Calling himself a “conscientious objector” Parker is clearly suffering a few prangs of remorse on getting people hooked on social media.

But the addictive element of Facebook was a fundamental component of its development.  Something which Parker acknowledges.  He said: “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?’

“And that means that 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.

“And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you more likes and comments.

“It’s a social-validation feedback loop.  Exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

Who is Sean Parker?

He’s a billionaire entrepreneur and philanthropist.  So he’s doing alright for himself.

As well as been the founding president of Facebook he also helped establish Napster, Plaxo and Aitime.com amongst others.  He is also the chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.

Justin Timberlake played Parker in the movie Social Network.

Who’s sorry now?

But it’s Facebook’s impact on society which is irking Parker.  He said: “I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or two billion people it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other.”

Social media addicts should take note of Parker’s sage advice.  When asked about his use of social media he said: “I use these platforms.  I don’t let these platforms use me.”  Profound.

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Craig Ellyard

Token old guy in the office and lifelong Hull City fan with all the psychological issues that brings. To relax I enjoy walking my two Labradors, as well as running and cycling.

1 comment

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  1. Graham 13 November, 2017 at 10:59

    Ha
    Thats about right…….My other half is a teacher, nearly all the kids problems/moods etc are related to facebook. For example a kid is upset cos her so called friend on line was putting upsetting comments on it. My other half tries to tell the kid to unfriend her, but they won’t. Instead it boils over into a argument in the class room & the parents back them rather then taking them off social media.

    Nearly all posts on facebook around school kids seam to upset someone.

    I think they shouldn’t be able to get a account until they are 18, and until then they should have restricted account where thie comments are policed.

    I do think the world has gone crazy for something that could cause so much upset & depression.

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