Arabic AR Chinese (Simplified) ZH-CN English EN French FR German DE Japanese JA Portuguese PT Russian RU Spanish ES Ukrainian UK

Former Facebook and Google employees fight tech ‘addiction’

Latest news

    Girls on phonesImage copyright Getty Images
    Image caption The campaign will back legislation to look at impact of technology on youngster’s health

    Two former employees of Google and Facebook have launched a campaign to fight what they see as the addictive nature of the technology they helped to create.

    The Center for Human Technology aims to “reverse the digital attention crisis” and “realign technology with humanity’s best interests”.

    It warns that technology is currently “hijacking our minds and society”.

    Facebook said it is “is a valued part of many people’s lives”.

    “We know Facebook, and the industry more broadly, can help bring people closer together through technology,” it said in response to the campaign’s launch.

    “It’s a responsibility we take seriously, particularly as we think about younger generations. These are important discussions and we’ve already taken meaningful steps.

    “For instance, we changed our News Feed ranking to ensure people have more opportunities to connect with the people they care about, knowing it might reduce time spent on Facebook. Moving forward we’re committed to being part of the conversation.”

    Behind the campaign – dubbed The Truth about Tech – are Roger McNamee, an early backer of Facebook and Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google.

    On its website, the campaign states that Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube are “not neutral products” but instead “are part of a system designed to addict us”.

    The campaign has received $7m (£5m) in funding from non-profit media watchdog Common Sense Media.

    It will focus on 55,000 US schools, aiming to teach students, parents and teachers about the side-effects of too much technology use.

    It will also lobby politicians on two forthcoming pieces of legislation, one looking at the impact of technology on children’s health and one requiring digital bots to be identified.

    The campaign seems to reflect growing disquiet in the industry about how the digital world is influencing society, particularly in the light of questions about fake news and the impact such reports may have had on the US election.

    There is also mounting evidence from health professionals that spending too much time on devices has a negative impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of children.

    In December, former Facebook executive Chamath Palihapitiya said he felt guilty about helping create tools that “are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”.

    He said he had banned his own children from using Facebook.

    His remarks followed similar criticism from Facebook investor Sean Parker who said in November that he had become a “conscientious objector” to social media, adding that Facebook and other firms were exploiting “a vulnerability in human psychology”.

    And in January, two big Apple investors asked the firm to make it easier to limit children’s use of iPhones and iPads.

    View the original article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42959848

    Meanwhile, a group of 100 mental health experts have asked Facebook to close its messaging service aimed at children.

    In the same category are

    Child sexual abuse and the Catholic Church: What you need to know Image copyright Getty Images From Australian country towns, to schools in Ireland and cities across the US, the Catholic Church has faced an avalanc...
    Giro d’Italia: Simon Yates keeps lead after time trial Simon Yates will take nearly a minute's lead into the final four stagesSimon Yates will go into the final five days of the Giro d'Italia as clear fav...
    Harry and Meghan attend first royal event since wedding Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Prince Harry took to the podium to make a speech as his wife, father and the Duchess of Cornwall looked ...
    Unai Emery: If Arsenal players buy in to his philosophy, they can win things Unai Emery looks set to replace Arsene Wenger as Arsenal managerUnai Emery is a very interesting appointment for Arsenal and the former Paris St-Germ...
    Tesco Direct closure puts 500 jobs at risk Image copyright Getty Images Tesco plans to close its Tesco Direct website that sells general merchandise, putting 500 workers at risk of redundancy...
    My life behind the wheel, by police pursuit driver Image copyright Getty Images When the call came over the radio it was about 02:00. Dark but dry, there was little traffic on the roads."Two lads had...

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *