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Facebook co-founder Sean Parker bashes company, saying it was built to exploit human vulnerability

  • Sean Parker called Facebook a "social-validation feedback loop."
  • A like or a comment on a post sends users "a little dopamine hit," he said, encouraging them to post again.
  • Parker said he would tell early holdouts to the platform that "we'll get you eventually."
Sean Parker speaking at the 2015 CGI Annual Meeting in New York.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Sean Parker speaking at the 2015 CGI Annual Meeting in New York.

A co-founder of Facebook bashed the company during an interview, saying that the social network was built to exploit vulnerabilities in human psychology.

Sean Parker, founding president of the company, told Axios in an interview Wednesday that the premise of the social media site — a "social-validation feedback loop" — is "exactly the kind of thing that a hacker like myself would come up with."

A like or a comment on a post sends users "a little dopamine hit," he said, encouraging them to post again.

"The inventors, creators — it's me, it's Mark [Zuckerberg], it's Kevin Systrom on Instagram, it's all of these people — understood this consciously. And we did it anyway," he said, according to a transcript of the interview.

Parker said he would tell early holdouts to the platform that "we'll get you eventually."

"I don't know if I really understood the consequences of what I was saying, because [of] the unintended consequences of a network when it grows to a billion or 2 billion people and ... it literally changes your relationship with society, with each other," Parker said. "It probably interferes with productivity in weird ways. God only knows what it's doing to our children's brains."

Parker left his post as president of Facebook in 2006 after less than two years but remains chairman of a Facebook segment dedicated to awareness and social causes, according to his LinkedIn account.

Read the full Axios report here.

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