Former Facebook executive shares insider info on how FB hurts your brain

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The powerful people at Facebook want to control your life — they also want to control your brain. That’s what the founding president of Facebook told Axios on Wednesday.

The founding president of Facebook, Sean Parker, 38, revealed the sort of insider information about Facebook that will surely drive Mark Zuckerberg crazy. According to Parker, who spoke at an Axios event this week, Facebook and social media hurt our brains.

Parker is now the founder and chair of the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. He says Zuckerberg will likely delete his Facebook page when he hears what he has to say about the dangers of Facebook.

Parker told Axios founder Mike Allen that he has become “something of a conscientious objector” on social media. Allen published a few bullet points regarding Parker’s comments:

  • “When Facebook was getting going, I had these people who would come up to me and they would say, ‘I’m not on social media.’ And I would say, ‘OK. You know, you will be.’ And then they would say, ‘No, no, no. I value my real-life interactions. I value the moment. I value presence. I value intimacy.’ And I would say, … ‘We’ll get you eventually.'”
  • “I don’t know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and … it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
  • “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.”
  • “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. And we did it anyway.”

To listen to some of Parker’s account of what takes place at Facebook, watch the short video of his interview with Axios by clicking here.

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