Sean Parker made billions off of Facebook. Today he basically called it evil.
You always hurt the ones you love, right?
That's the only way we can explain Facebook's founding president Sean Parker's damning words about the world's largest social media platform.
Speaking to Axios at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on Wednesday, Parker selected the angry reaction and unloaded on Facebook, describing it as "exactly the kind of thing a hacker like my self would come up with because you're exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology."
Parker, who left Facebook in 2005 and has has had his share of tech flops, said that when they were first building the social media platform, the goal was clear: "How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?"
The key, Parker added, to keeping people focused and returning to Facebook was to give them a steady, dopamine drip of validation.
"The inventors, creators — it's me it's Mark [Zuckerberg], it's Kevin Systrom at Instagram... it's all these people — understood this consciously, and we did it anyway," said Parker.
Parker said he now worries that Facebook is changing society and "God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains."
His comments come at, perhaps, the worst possible time for Facebook. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been publicly flogging himself and Facebook for the role it may have played in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, telling investors last week:
Parker's comments, though, indicate a far less altruistic purpose behind the foundation, creation, and long term operation of Facebook, which now boasts over 2 billion hooked...er...monthly active users. On the other hand Parker comments do come across like a 21st century Dr. Frankenstein who, after exclaiming, "It's alive!" immediately warns that his own creation is a monster.
Is the single-minded plan that Parker describes still the operational principal of Facebook — hack people's psychology to hook them — or is there, as Zuckerberg says, a greater purpose, to bring people not just to Facebook, but closer to each other, as well?
Whatever the case, Zuckerberg has surely unfriended Parker by now.
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