Former Facebook President Sean Parker Criticizes The Platform For Manipulating Users

Sean Parker, the billionaire founding president of Facebook, is now echoing sentiments increasingly promoted in the IT ethics field. He believes the platform is basically damaging people by "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology." Its core founding purpose, says Parker, was to take up as much user time as possible.

As he puts it, the core goal of Facebook was and is, "How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?"

The platform ends up putting people in a loop of caring too much about quick digital validation in the form of likes, comments, shares, and other notifications. When they get that validation, they post more, feeding the loop.

God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains. - Parker

This perspective has been gaining attention due to the work of people like Tristan Harris, Google's former design ethicist. He believes major online platforms should adjust their designs so that users waste less time on content that's of little value.