A group of tech insiders from Facebook and Google have joined forces to challenge the companies they helped create. The former Silicon Valley employees have created an organization called The Center for Humane Technology, which seeks to warn against the dangers of social media and tech addiction.
The nonprofit is primarily concerned with the effects of this technology on young children, and it plans to lobby for a bill to research the issue. The group also plans to create a website where tech engineers can express concern about the products they are being asked to build. Additionally, the coalition will run a public relations campaign called “The Truth About Tech” to raise awareness of what they see as the negative effects of social media on our society.
It’s hard to quantify, but experts say sites like Facebook are knowingly designed to hook users — and to keep them addicted. And that’s a big cause for concern when it comes to the minds of young users.
“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,” Tristan Harris, co-founder of The Center for Humane Technology, told The New York Times.
It’ll be interesting to see how Facebook responds to such strong criticism from its own former employees. Maybe this is the motivation the company needs to make real, lasting change.