'Senior Facebook insiders have admitted designing addictive technology that hooks users and may cause harm to children.
Sandy Parakilas, a former Facebook platform manager, claimed the firm’s goal was to “addict” people. “They know what the negative effects are and they are not being honest,” he said.
Leah Pearlman, the Facebook product manager who invented the iconic “Like” button, said she now advised vulnerable teenagers to beware of the site after she herself became addicted.
In response to growing concern, Ime Archibong, a senior Facebook executive, admitted it was now investigating whether “habit-forming” behaviour is “bringing harm” to users.
The disclosures are made in a BBC Panorama programme tonight, where the tech insiders express alarm at the way younger children are now being targeted with the launch of Facebook Messenger for six to 12-year-olds.
The Daily Telegraph is campaigning for a statutory duty of care on social media and gaming firms to protect children from potential harm.
“The end goal is to acquire customers at an incredibly young age,” said Mr Parakilas. “Considering the addictive nature of Facebook… it’s really concerning that they are now targeting even younger children without clear standards for what is OK and what is not OK.”
Ms Pearlman said the Like button led her to become addicted to seeking feedback: “I noticed that I would post something that I used to post, and the Like count would be way lower than it used to be. Suddenly I thought I’m actually also kind of addicted to the feedback.”'
Read more: ‘Addictive’ Facebook may harm children, claim insiders
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