Articles / Sources
Taken from Richard Freed's article: The Tech Industry's War on Kids: Tristan Harris, formerly a design ethicist at Google, has led the way by unmasking the industry’s use of persuasive design. Interviewed in The Economist’s 1843 magazine, he says, “The job of these companies is to hook people, and they do that by hijacking our psychological vulnerabilities.”
Another tech exec raising red flags about his tech industry’s use of mind manipulation is former Facebook president Sean Parker. Interviewed in Axios, he discloses: “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?’” He also said that Facebook exploits “vulnerability in human psychology” and remarked, “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”
Marc Benioff, CEO of the cloud computing company Salesforce, is one of the voices calling for the regulation of social media companies because of their potential to addict children. He says that just as the cigarette industry has been regulated, so too should social media companies. “I think that, for sure, technology has addictive qualities that we have to address, and that product designers are working to make those products more addictive, and we need to rein that back as much as possible,” Benioff told CNBC in January, 2018, while in Davos, Switzerland, site of the World Economic Forum.
As Ramsay Brown, neuroscientist and co-founder of the artificial intelligence company Boundless Mind, says, (in “Time”), “Your kid is not weak-willed because he can’t get off his phone… Your kid’s brain is being engineered to get him to stay on his phone.”