When people who have intimate knowledge of the inner workings of something potentially dangerous make bold and dire claims, it gets attention. Tim Kendall, a former Facebook executive, has issued a chilling wakeup call about the dangers of social media, telling Fox News’ Media Angle about his growing concern that Big Tech is “a threat to democracy that could eventually lead to a civil war in America.”
According to Statista, as of 2019 most people spend 144 minutes per day on social networking sites. Kendall claims these sites, such as Facebook, are designed to keep people addicted. “We as users are attracted to content that entertains us and reinforces our views. ‘Big Social,’ as I call it, knows this and presents information that will keep us coming back to their platforms,” he said.
Kendall then went on to say, “I truly believe things will not get better until tech companies move away from creating exploitative products that drive conflict over conversation, division over unity, and misinformation over truth.” Facebook’s algorithm is what causes this; shocking content and conflict-inducing speech is meant to cause an extreme emotional reaction from users. That is what keeps them hooked — in turn, generating more ad revenue.
Although Kendall’s interview addresses the uncomfortable truth of social media addiction and the real dangers of it, which impacts the majority of people every day, he proposes solutions. “We need better regulation — no industry, including tech, should be in the position to regulate themselves …. We need innovation to help people take back their lives from their devices.”
Currently, Kendall is the CEO of Moment, a company that provides tools to help social media users monitor and reclaim their time.