Tech

Former Facebook, Google Employees, ‘Societal Dangers Posed by Social Media and Smartphones’

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By Mikael Thalen, Infowars, 2/5/2018

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Former Facebook and Google employees are speaking out against what they say are societal dangers posed by social media and smartphones.

The group, which recently banded together to form the Center for Humane Technology, has teamed up with media watchdog Common Sense Media to highlight the ill effects associated with the very social networks they helped create.

As part of their first campaign, titled The Truth About Tech, the group will target 55,000 U.S. public schools in an effort to warn students, teachers and parents about, among other things, tech addiction.

Tristan Harris, a former ethicist at Google and head of the new group, told the New York Times that both Google and Facebook are essentially aiming their computing power at vulnerable children.

“We were on the inside. We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works,” Harris said. “The largest supercomputers in the world are inside of two companies — Google and Facebook — and where are we pointing them? We’re pointing them at people’s brains, at children.”

Apart from its initial campaign, the new Center for Humane Technology also hopes to develop a Ledger of Harms – a site to inform tech engineers who may be worried about what they are building – and begin lobbying for laws that would rein in tech giants.

Roger McNamee, an early Facebook investor, says he joined the group in an attempt to undo any harm he may have caused.

“Facebook appeals to your lizard brain — primarily fear and anger. And with smartphones, they’ve got you for every waking moment,” McNamee said. “This is an opportunity for me to correct a wrong.”

News of the Center for Humane Technology’s intentions comes only days after child health experts asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to delete a new messenger app intended for children as young as six.

“Younger children are simply not ready to have social media accounts. They are not old enough to navigate the complexities of online relationships, which often lead to misunderstandings and conflicts even among more mature users,” a letter to Zuckerberg said. “They also do not have a fully developed understanding of privacy, including what’s appropriate to share with others and who has access to their conversations, pictures, and videos.”

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