VIDEO: Ex-Facebook president Sean Parker unloads on Mark Zuckerberg and admits he helped build a monster

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Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, has a disturbing warning about the social network: “God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains.”

Speaking to the news website Axios, the entrepreneur and executive talked openly about what he perceives as the dangers of social media and how it exploits human “vulnerability.”

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“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them … was all about: ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?'” said Parker, who joined Facebook in 2004, when it was less than a year old.

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“And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever,” he told Axios. “And that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you … more likes and comments.”

Parker added: “It’s a social-validation feedback loop … exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with, because you’re exploiting a vulnerability in human psychology.”

“The inventors, creators — it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it’s all of these people — understood this consciously,” he said. “And we did it anyway.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Some in tech are growing disillusioned — and worried

Parker isn’t the only tech figure to express disillusionment and worry by what they helped create. Tristan Harris, a former Google employee, has been outspoken in his criticism of how tech companies’ products hijack users’ minds.

“If you’re an app, how do you keep people hooked? Turn yourself into a slot machine,” he wrote in a widely shared Medium post in 2016.

“We need our smartphones, notifications screens and web browsers to be exoskeletons for our minds and interpersonal relationships that put our values, not our impulses, first,” he continued. “People’s time is valuable. And we should protect it with the same rigor as privacy and other digital rights.”

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