Big Shock: Social Media Algorithms Are Not Your Friend

December 11, 2017

One of Facebook’s founding fathers, Sean Parker, has done a surprising about-face on the online platform that earned him billions of dollars. Parker has begun speaking out against social media and the hidden machinery that keeps people interested. We learned more from a recent Axios story,Sean Parker Unloads on Facebook ‘Exploiting’ Human Psychology.

According to the story:

Parker’s I-was-there account provides priceless perspective in the rising debate about the power and effects of the social networks, which now have scale and reach unknown in human history. He’s worried enough that he’s sounding the alarm.

According to Parker:

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.

What’s at stake here isn’t just human psychology being exploited, though. It’s a major part of the story, but, as Forbes pointed out, we are on the cusp of social engineering via social media. If more people like Parker don’t stand up and offer a solution, we fear there could be serious repercussions.

Patrick Roland, December 11, 2017

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