Napster founder, Sean Parker, recently spoke out about how Facebook was developed with a lean toward exploitation of addictions. The programmer and developer released a tirade against the social media giant in a recent interview, claiming that Facebook specifically developed its platform to cater to kids with addictive tendencies. Although Parker maintains a presence on both Twitter and Facebook, he calls himself an objector and frequently posts his concerns with the social implications of both platforms.
Sean Parker’s Key Claims
- Parker believes children are easily influenced by input from social media, and believes that Facebook specifically “exploits human psychological vulnerabilities” to achieve their goal. “It’s exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”
- The developer even takes it a step further, stating that he understands this to be true because he himself relied on the same tactics to achieve success with Napster. “it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway.”
- Oddly enough, Parker was an early investor in the Facebook platform, receiving billions of dollars in income from the platform over his time as an investor.
- Parker claims the secret formula stems from figuring out how to occupy users for long periods of time. “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”
- The former Napster owner isn’t the only one to turn away from Facebook in recent years. The President, several politicians, and many news outlets have announced a lack of faith in the platform after repeated fake news scandals, scams, and other onsite Internet security issues. This is reflected by failing public support for the platform, too.
- Although support for Facebook is waning, users aren’t really flocking to other platforms. Twitter and Instagram use has grown steadily, but is far from exploding in response.
- As for whether social media is addictive, research does show that social media can play an important role in Internet addiction. This is especially true for people who are housebound or suffering from social anxiety.
- Social media has a unique influence on teens and young children, who are naturally more sensitive to the world around them. Most experts agree that children shouldn’t be on social media at all until between 13 and 15. Even then, they should have parental oversight and limited use of the platforms to prevent addiction and safety issues.
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How do you think Facebook and/or social media in general has impacted society?