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Ex-Google Worker Warns of Social Media's 'Big Tobacco' Effect on Users' Brains

Former Google employee Tristan Harris discusses the dark side of social media on Fox News' "Bill Hemmer Reports." 

By    |   Thursday, 08 October 2020 08:15 PM

Former Google employee Tristan Harris is warning people that social media and smartphone apps are ''Big Tobacco for our brains'' in the way they use psychology to influence users, according to Fox News.

Harris was featured in the Netflix documentary ''The Social Dilemma,'' which addressed the corrosive effects of social media on people. He said the film is "creating a global moment of awareness.''

During an interview on Fox News, Harris raised a smartphone and explained how dangerous technology could be.

''This is, I think, the most deep and subtle issue of our time ... I believe it’s actually an existential threat to democracy,'' Harris told ''Bill Hemmer Reports" Thursday.

''Three billion people have a brain implant that’s a remotely controlled brain, because – especially in the coronavirus times – we are relying on these things to make sense of what’s reality out there in the world,'' Harris said. ''They have become the fabric for our sense-making and the fabric of our choice-making, the fabric of how children develop.''

The film shows how Harris attempted to create changes while working at Google by devising a presentation he passed along to his bosses in the company.

''It basically just said, 'Never before in history have 50 designers, 20- to 35-year-old white guys in California, made decisions that would have an impact on two billion people,''' Harris says in the film. ''Two billion people will have thoughts that they didn’t intend to have because a designer at Google said, 'This is how notifications work on that screen that you wake up to in the morning.'''

Harris now heads the Center for Humane Technology, which works to raise awareness of the problems in technology.

''It’s because of this business model that’s at the heart of these technology companies, which is that they make more money the more time they get you to spend,'' Harris said. ''It’s bad for the collective ... no matter where you fall on all these sides, we need to be able to agree in society on what we want to do about various problems we have."

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Former Google employee Tristan Harris is warning people that social media and smartphone apps are ''Big Tobacco for our brains'' in the way they use psychology to influence users, according to Fox News....
foxnews, tristanharris, tech, google, smartphones
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2020-15-08
Thursday, 08 October 2020 08:15 PM
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