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Facebook exploits ‘vulnerability’ in psychology, founding president says |

Facebook exploits ‘vulnerability’ in psychology, founding president says

| Thursday, November 9, 2017 12:30 p.m
Sean Parker (Photo by Getty Images)

It’s no accident that you may feel addicted to Facebook and other social networks.

They are designed that way, Facebook’s founding president Sean Parker told reporters for the website .

Parker — played by Justin Timberlake in the film about Facebook’s founding, “The Social Network” — spoke Wednesday at an Axios event in Philadelphia. He said social networks are designed to exploit a “vulnerability in human psychology” that keeps us coming back for more.

“[We] understood this consciously. And we did it anyway,” Parker said.

Watch Sean Parker’s comments on .

Likes and comments on photos and posts were intended to give us little dopamine hits to keep up coming back, Parker said.

At 19, Parker cofounded Napster. Five years later, he was heading Facebook. Parker, 38, now chairs the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy that he founded.

He is worth an estimated $2.6 billion, according to Forbes.

Parker apparently joked that Zuckerberg would probably block his Facebook account after reading his comments to Axios. He called himself “something of a conscientious objector” on social media and expressed concern about what it is doing to us and our children.

“It literally changes your relationship with society, with each other. … It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains,” Parker said.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at, 412-336-8448 or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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