Facebook's Founding President on Stage Yesterday: We Created a Monster

First Facebook president says it is designed to psychologically exploit people and Zuckerberg knows

Sean Parker, the billionaire early Facebook investor and Napster founder, says Mark Zuckerberg knowingly created a monster with addictive social media.

Parker, 38, spoke Wednesday at an Axios event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and while he was officially there to talk about efforts to advance cancer innovation, he apparently went off-script as he began to speak about his status as "something of a conscientious objector" to social media.

He later added that the size and scope of Facebook's audience 'literally changes your relationship with society, ' noting the now 2 billion users on the social network. Users spend approximately 20 minutes a day on the website, and Parker says that "it probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains". That involves giving users "a little dopamine hit" each time another user likes, comments, or interacts with them.

Nevertheless, he describes how he once tried to get as many people as possible to use Facebook's platform. He also noted that he and Zuckerberg, and later Instagram's Kevin Systrom, were very much aware of this and "did it anyway".

Although Facebook is a social networking site, it also has vast impact as an advertising platform and news distributor, reaching 2 billion people each month.

Parker, who has a net worth of over $2 billion, is not the only former Facebook employee to feel as if the company may be doing more harm than good.

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In an interview with Axios' Mike Allen, Parker, who was portrayed in the movie "The Social Network" by Justin Timberlake, said social networks have the power now to alter society and not for the better.

A rash of recent studies have found Facebook and other social media impact humans in a myriad of ways, including sexual infidelity, obesity and behaviorial issues, physical intimacy, and even athletic performance.

"It's a social validation feedback loop", he continued.

Facebook didn't respond to a request for comment on Parker's remarks.

Parker left the stage joking that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg would block his account after learning of his comments.

In a blog post, Facebook's chief security officer Alex Stamos wrote that "we will continue to invest in our people and technology to help provide a safe place for civic discourse and meaningful connections on Facebook". I value my real-life interactions.

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