Early Facebook & Google supporters turn on the two tech giants


Feb 6th

lots of people using phones

Ex-employees that use to work at Google and Facebook during the companies early days are coming out with how alarmed they are in regards to the usage of social networks and smartphones, and with how their overuse may have some negative effects. They are coming together to go against the industry’s top companies which they got off the ground, many years ago.

Center for Humane Technology is what the collaboration of workers is going under as they create a union. They have also teamed up with a non-profit media watchdog group by the name of Common Sense Media, which is busy planning an anti-tech addiction legal campaign and an attempt to go through over fifty thousand public schools in the USA alone to bring the info directly to them.

The school based campaign will be named “The Truth About Tech” and has been funded with seven MILLION dollars from the non-profit media company and some capital raised by the cohort of concerned experts themselves. The non-profit media company has also donated over fifty million dollars in US airtime from partners inclusive of Comcast and DirecTV.

The main aim is to educate students, their parents and their teachers about the dangers of technology and focusing on depressing that can come from the heavy use and abuse of social media.

An ex ethicist that use to work within Google based stations, Tristan Harris is leading the group and came out with some statements: “We were on the inside”, “We know what the companies measure. We know how they talk, and we know how the engineering works”, he also added that “The largest supercomputers in the world are inside of two companies — Google and Facebook — and where are we pointing them” following it up with “We’re pointing them at people’s brains, at children.”

A recent controversy surrounding the effect of technology on younger minds has become a hot topic to be debated in the last few months. It even went to the point were mental health and pediatric experts had made a call to Facebook to abandon a developing message service that Facebook was going to introduce to children to ages as young as six years old. This then went on to trigger groups of parents to also come on to talk about an initiative developed by YouTube targeted at a younger audience called YouTube kids that sometimes even shows content that could be deemed as inappropriate.

The Center for Humane technology says that their group will only continue to grow. Their first call to duty is to create a website called Ledger of Harms, which will exist to solely let rank-and-file engineers know what the ethical side of things are looking like in regards to what they are being asked to build by the companies that govern them.

I personally think that this is honestly a really smart idea. Engineers sometimes feel concerned about what they are being asked to be built and might not want anything to negatively influence others’ lives.

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