Andrew Yang Blasts Big Tech For ‘Turning Supercomputers Into Slot Machines’ For Teens

Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Andrew Yang addresses the Moral Action Congress of the Poor People's Campaign.
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Presidential hopeful Andrew Yang used his recent appearance on The Hill’s Rising With The Hill’s Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjet — which is available on YouTube — to suggest that while breaking up big technology companies up might be beneficial in certain situations, it doesn’t address one of the biggest dangers of social media apps.

Yang suggests that one of the most fundamental problems of big technology is that “social media apps are causing higher levels of depression, anxiety, among teenagers, and breaking up the apps into separate companies does nothing to change that.”

When Yang was pressed on the issue, he proposed a new focus within the attention economy that addresses social media apps and provides counterbalances for their engagement and interactivity incentives. He highlights that these incentives are tied to the quarterly earnings of social media companies, which means they are incentivizing to make their apps as addictive as possible.

“My friend Tristan Harris, who is a design ethicist, said it best. He said ‘We have some of the smartest engineers in the country, turning supercomputers into slot machines and dopamine delivery devices for teenagers.'”

“And that’s the incentive — that’s what they get paid millions of dollars to do,” he added.

“So there needs to be some kind of counterweight that looks out for our kids, as a parent.”

Yang said that parents face an uphill battle in the modern social media age when it comes to controlling their children’s screen time, and he suggests that although blaming parents for their children getting too much screen time is tempting, it’s not the answer.

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As The Inquisitr previously reported, Yang recently broke with the Democratic party over the decision to prosecute President Donald Trump after his presidency. He said in a Fox News interview that the focus should be on winning the 2020 election — not prosecuting Trump — and suggested that the pattern of imprisoning a past leader is not one that the United States should fall into.

Yang used the same interview to comment on Trump’s controversial comments during the ABC News interview with George Stephanopoulos in which Trump admitted he would accept dirt on his opponents from foreign sources. Trump made the comments not long after Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election concluded, and Yang called them “both shocking and unsurprising.” Regardless, Yang believes that it’s more important to focus on getting Trump out of office in 2020 as opposed to focusing on a criminal investigation that may or may not take place after his presidency.