A group of former Facebook and Google employees has formed the Center for Humane Technology to express concern over the effects of social networks and smartphones and to challenge the companies that they helped build and grow, according to a CNBC report.
To add some extra oomph to the campaign, the "Centre for Humane Technology" is teaming up with a a media watchdog called Common Sense Media to run an anti-tech addiction campaign reaching out to 55,000 public schools in the US. Called "The Truth About Tech", the campaign will target 55,000 US public schools to educate parents, students and teachers about the dangers of technology and the possibility of depression from heavy social media use.
The groups say they will work together to develop standards for ethically designing technology that discourages addiction and to push for regulation of tech companies.
On Monday, two former tech industry insiders who've launched the "Truth About Tech" initiative told "CBS This Morning" that companies like Facebook are fostering addictive behavior by "making deliberate decisions that do great harm".
"The largest supercomputers in the world are inside of two companies - Google and Facebook - and where are we pointing them?" "We know what the companies measure. Plenty of smart engineers and designers in the industry want to create apps that provide us with the information we need to improve our lives as quickly as possible, instead of just sucking us in for as long as possible".
The ill effects of social media and technology have become hot-button topics in recent months.
It will focus on 55,000 USA schools, aiming to teach students, parents and teachers about the side-effects of too much technology use. Harris filled in as Google's outline ethicist. Last week, Common Sense and other advocacy groups and children's health experts urged Facebook to pull the plug on Messenger Kids, its new messaging app.
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Former Google and Facebook employees - and early investors - are launching a campaign to warn people about the dangers of the technology they helped create.
The news follows increased attention to the downside of widely popular tech products like Facebook.
"You see a degree of hypocrisy with all these guys in Silicon Valley", he said.
Speaking to Quartz, Center for Humane Technology co-founder, Tristan Harris said, "All the tech companies profit the more attention they extract out of human vessels". They speak of Facebook "ripping apart the social fabric"; of it appealing to users' "lizard brain - primarily fear and anger". One bill would fund research on the impact of social media on children's health, another would limit the use of bots. "If they are turned down, they don't get to ask again", reported the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
"This can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents", he said.
"This is an opportunity for me to correct a wrong", he said.