In December last year, a former Facebook executive said he felt “tremendous guilt” for helping make the company what it is today, saying it’s now “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.”
Then, in January, Mark Zuckerberg came out to say the social media giant needed to be fixed and he was making it his personal mission. It seems they’re not the only people to feel that way.
There’s now a new alliance of former Silicon Valley professionals, dedicated to stopping the onslaught of negative impacts from the advent of social media. A situation they helped create.
Called the Center for Humane Technology, it’s a non-profit organization comprised of former employees of and contributors to the likes of Google, Facebook, and Mozilla. The group has officially launched this week and hopes to raise awareness about the kind of impact technology can have on society, especially how addictive it can be.
The group plans to lobby for a bill to be passed in parliament, one that will commission research into the ill effects technology can have on children’s health. The bill in question has been drafted by US senator Ed Markey, also an author of the existing Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act.
The group is especially focusing on how tech companies make their product addictive, using time-tested persuasion techniques the likes of which you see in casinos. They want people to understand how these concepts work, and help get their children out of the vicious cycle they propagate.