MWC

Ex-Facebook and Google employees join forces to fight tech addiction

Tyrone Stewart

People mobile laptop tabletA group of former employees from the likes of Facebook and Google have come together to form a coalition aimed at challenging the behemoths they helped build to do more about tech addiction.

The Centre for Humane Technology, which is also includes ex-employees from companies such as Mozilla and Nvidia, is working with non-profit safe technology organisation Common Sense Media to begin lobbying for legislation that would commission research on the impact of technology on children’s health, and one which would ban the use of digital bots without identification.

In addition, the alliance will work with Common Sense on an ad campaign at 55,000 public schools in the US. ‘The Truth About Tech’ campaign will be funded with $7m from Common Sense and capital raised by the Centre for Humane Technology, while Common Sense has $50mm in donated media and airtime from partners including Comcast and DirecTV. The campaign will look to educate students, parents, and teachers about the dangers of technology on both physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The work from the coalition comes a few months after former Facebook VP of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya said the social network he used to work for was “ripping apart the social fabric of how society works”. Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, the UK’s Children’s Commissioner Anne Longfield called on parents to stop their children from using Snapchat because it has “particularly addictive elements”.