back to article Sean Parker: I helped destroy humanity with Facebook

The billionaire and former Facebook president Sean Parker now says he regrets helping turn the social network into a global phenomenon. The site grew by "exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology" with its greed for attention and the careful reward system it created to keep users addicted. "We need to sort of give you a …

  1. Old Coot

    vulnerability in human psychology

    That's where the money is these days, in politics, business, you name it. I feel like that guy (was it Vincent Price?) who is the last non-zombie in the world when I'm on the street or the train and everyone is glued to their screen.

    1. Andraž 'ruskie' Levstik

      Re: vulnerability in human psychology

      Hmmm I have that same feeling - though I often am chatting with a friend on discord or some other such platform along the way. But yeah not social networks...

    2. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: vulnerability in human psychology

      Dunno about Vincent Price and zombies, but Charlton Heston (and later Will Smith) was the last non-vampire left alive in The Omega Man. Will that do?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge

        Re: vulnerability in human psychology

        @ Rich 11

        Took the comment out of my brain! +1 sir! Beat me to it ;-}

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: vulnerability in human psychology

          and you wrote that post to get some +1s too, didn't you?

      2. EarthDog

        Re: vulnerability in human psychology

        Trivia.

        Vincent Price played the last man on Earth in a movie named "The Last Man on Earth". "Omega Man" and the Will Smith movies are essentially remakes, oops I guess the politically term is "reboots". All three of them are based on a book named "I Am Legend".

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: vulnerability in human psychology

      Last Man on Earth - 1964. Spot on.. have a cold one.

  2. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Meh

    $7.8 BEEEEEELLION?

    Yeah, he must be absolutely gutted.

    1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

      Re: $7.8 BEEEEEELLION?

      The good news is that with $7.8 BEEEELION, you can afford a lot of recovery therapy.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: $7.8 BEEEEEELLION?

      Notice he does not feel badly enough to, say, donate it all this week to help humanity.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: "he does not feel badly enough to [..] donate it all"

        Because of course that's what you would do.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: $7.8 BEEEEEELLION?

      Yeah, with that sort of money you can REALLY be sorry. It takes a poor man in the dock with all his precious cash taken away from him to show actual remorse.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think he weeded out the idiots, rather than actually destroy humanity.

    1. yoganmahew

      Right, they'd be plonked in front of the telly or jawboning in the pub otherwise. At least on FB they're pushed to take natural selection selfies...

    2. Midnight

      I believe the original name was going to be "The B-Ark", but they chose to change it to "The Face Book" at the last minute to avoid tipping off their Golgafrinchan investors.

    3. mstreet
      Mushroom

      "Weeded out the idiots"

      That only really helps if you...you know...'get rid of' the weeded out idiots.

  4. chivo243 Silver badge
    Trollface

    Remorse?

    Is that what I see in Zuck's eyes? Naw, it's $ $

  5. Not also known as SC
    Trollface

    Apology or Gloating?

    I can't see the word apology or sorry in the article so is he apologising for Facebook destroying society or gloating that it destroyed society. I know the by-line says he regrets it, but there is no direct quote from him saying it.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Apology or Gloating?

      Regrets while sitting on a pile of money... ok.. sure.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hammerbacher looked around Silicon Valley at companies like his own, Google, and Twitter, and saw his peers wasting their talents. “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” he says. “That sucks.”"

    He's not the first to say it, and he's not wrong. Shameful waste of talent and resource.

    1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      "The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads," he says.

      Oh, but they've grown since then. Now they also think about how to trick people into mining cryptocurrency, or how to hold people's data for ransom. The ultimate goal is to find a way to make people do all three at the same time, while also coughing up the password to their online banking account.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'thinking about how to make people click ads'

      The voyeuristic behavioral ad-driven push, means that money that could have gone towards flying / hover-cars R&D gets shelved... The Tech future is a pale imitation of what was promised...

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: 'thinking about how to make people click ads'

        The Tech future is a pale imitation of what was promised

        I vaguely remember a poem that we studied at school bemoaning about all the effort that goes into making chocolate that melts in the mouth and not in the hand rather than a cure for cancer..

        Can't remember the name or poet. And my DDG-fu is at a particularly low ebb..

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    something like an addiction can be found here

    cookieAbsent

    they can (...) and die.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: something like an addiction can be found here

      And if they're UNdead?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: something like an addiction can be found here

        "And if they're UNdead?"

        In the words of F.P.S. Russia: "But deze are *zombies*. You must shoot zem in de *head*. Remember dis, iz vwery important. With zombie, you must destroy de *brain*. So let's do that..." (ultimax machine gun video)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In awe of Facebook's... Ever take a FB quiz Sean?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/20/opinion/the-secret-agenda-of-a-facebook-quiz.html?_r=1

    https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-10-27/that-facebook-quiz-might-not-be-so-innocent

  9. KH

    If FB addition exploits a weakness in human psychology, then those of us that don't bother with it must be the only ones without psychological problems? Seems about right to me!

    1. Pinballdave

      Not really, it's just our psychological problems are not as easy to monetize.

    2. fandom Silver badge

      Not really, why do you think The Register allows up/down voting comments?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't break your arm

    patting yourself on the back. This guy wants to apologize in the middle of taking credit for a supposedly humanity-transforming enterprise. Too much of a "I'm so sorry how shrewd I was" kind of statement for me. Hopefully, FB will be the AOL of this generation, which means the final "unfriending" will take place in 15 years or so.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember, if it is free, then you are the product

    Not just Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin etc.

    Gentle reminder that Facebook Inc had also made several acquisitions along the way, one noteworthy example would be Whatsapp.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sir Pratchett worked out a solution

      Doesn't always work. Some people used Helium to get high. They still had kids.

      1. Norman Nescio Silver badge

        Re: Sir Pratchett worked out a solution

        They were probably nimble.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm so pleased...

    ..(or maybe smug) that I never signed up.

    Anon - because you don't need to know who I am.

    <philosophical>What's it like to have that amount of money?<philosophical>

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm so pleased...

      oops - sloppy coding....where's that '/'?

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: sloppy coding

        <philosophical>

        If a tag is only a parody of html, does it need closing?

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: sloppy coding

          "If a tag is only a parody of html, does it need closing?"

          Only if there's a parody of someone listening to it.

        2. Random Handle

          Re: sloppy coding

          >If a tag is only a parody of html, does it need closing?

          ...not to engage the mind in subject-object duality is the bodhisattva's practice

  14. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    If not joining is a test

    I PASSED!

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: If not joining is a test

      "I PASSED!"

      Congrats! [/me also NOT in "that club"]

      I always figured, WHY BOTHER with face-barf when I can set up a free web site someplace else, without ads, and without them tracking me...

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