Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
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Techies push back against social media to fight tech addiction

Techies push back against social media to fight tech addiction

The initial group of experts includes former Google ethicist Tristan Harris; former Facebook operations manager Sandy Parakilas; former Apple and Google communications executive Lynn Fox; former Facebook executive Dave Morin; Facebook "like" button creator Justin Rosenstein; early Facebook investor Roger McNamee; and technologist Renee DiResta.

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. One of the main goals is targeting up to 55,000 U.S. public schools in an effort to publicize research on tech addiction's effects, relying on $7 million in funding from Common Sense Media. Common Sense is also donating $50 million in media and airtime from Comcast, DirecTV and other partners.

Dubbed Truth About Tech, the campaign will apply pressure to the tech industry to lessen the intrusive and addictive elements of its products, while also informing consumers and emphasising the importance of tech use for the greater good. "They are part of a system created to addict us", CHT said. It is the future, we are told, and we need to know how to leverage networks to our advantage in order to maximize our users and our donors.

Google has had a "dating policy" since 2004, meanwhile, couples at major tech companies are reportedly signing "love contracts - in which a couple agrees to behave professionally at work and acknowledges they weren't coerced into the relationship". The people making the case should know, as they are founders and developers of Facebook, Google, Apple, Mozilla, and other lynchpins of the technology and social boom.

If you're anxious about the effects of technology on kids, you're not alone.


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. Harris, who worked at Google until 2016, has made a name for himself as a thought leader encouraging designers to craft apps and services in ways that enhance humanity.

CEO and founder of Common Sense, James P Steyer, explained that these companies can implement damaging decisions: "Their business models often encourage them to do whatever they can to grab attention and data and then to worry about the consequences later, even though those very same consequences may at times hurt the social, emotional and cognitive development of kids". That may sway tech chief executives to change, he said.

Mr. Steyer said, "You see a degree of hypocrisy with all these guys in Silicon Valley".

The twist is that this new nonprofit, the Center for Humane Technology, has been founded by some of the tech industry luminaries who started those sites.

[With smartphones, ] they've got you for every waking moment.
The Times said organizers will focus their attention on two upcoming pieces of legislation from MA and California that could potentially fund research on the impact that technology has had on children's health. He said he now wants to help right a wrong that he was part of creating.

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