Ex-Silicon Valley executives, who helped to build Google and Facebook into the tech giants they are today, are joining forces to challenge the companies’ “erosive” effect on society and create a cultural awakening.
The Center for Humane Technology – co-founded by Tristan Harris – a former design ethicist at Google, is working with non-profit Common Sense Media to launch its Truth about Tech campaign.
The center’s supporters also include Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook operations manager; Lynn Fox, a former Apple and Google communications executive; Dave Morin, a former Facebook executive; Justin Rosenstein, who created Facebook’s Like button and Roger McNamee, an early investor in Facebook.
The group claims that “our society is being hijacked by technology” and the tech giants are profiting from the problem. “We can’t expect attention-extraction companies like YouTube, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter to change, because it’s against their business model,” the campaigners say, pointing out that “our attention is massively profitable.”
“These are not neutral products. They are part of a system designed to addict us.”