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OHANIAN: No, that sounds very sinister, but I- let me reframe that. It’s- the reality, though, is right, every push notification you’re getting is- is triggering a little dopamine hit to- to get you to want to come back. And that in and of itself is not a bad thing. What is so important, though, for a child’s brain is- and the reason why we’re really, really specific about, you know, iPad or iPhone usage is because I don’t want to put her baby brain under that- or I don’t want to expose her baby brain to those conditions–
MARGARET BRENNAN: Right. Nerdy Doormat
OHANIAN: –this early while it’s still developing. I have- I think as adults, it’s a very different discussion because adults make adult consequences, are brain or make adult decisions. Our brains are fully formed, et cetera. But when you start using those triggers on the brain of a kid, that’s where I- I don’t want- I don’t want those two to ever meet, simply because that kind of, I don’t know, those kinds of tools that drive engagement and drive, you know, taps, I don’t want- I don’t want messing with my kid’s head. I know at times in our household, my kid was- or my television was my sort of babysitter because my- my parents were busy working and doing stuff. But in hindsight, like that lean back experience, assuming the programming is age appropriate, not so bad. And I’m definitely guilty of being like, okay great, we can like Olympia, let’s put on Paw Patrol or Bubble Guppies. And- and the nice thing is because I know what that program is about, if I pass out for 20 minutes, I’m- it’s fine. Whereas and this is why, you know, we had- we had YouTube on the family iPad for a little bit. And I- I recently took it off because I was just like, I just can’t, is because, you know, that recommendation engine, that’s- right- that’s designed for adult brains. That’s designed to keep feeding us sort of more of exactly what we need. And- and you don’t know where that rabbit hole goes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: Do you think then that like CEOs of tech companies should be held accountable for how their platforms are used? I mean, you- you see this in Washington gaining momentum across the aisle. You know–
MARGARET BRENNAN: –Republicans complain about censorship. On the left you hear these complaints about the tech companies becoming too big and needing to break them up. Like what level of accountability should there be for- for CEOs and founders?
OHANIAN: Well, I think something is inevitable at this point because you’re right, you’re seeing Republicans and Democrats agreeing on something which these days is pretty rare. I do think, so as it extends to Section 230, I think Section 230 is a very, very, very important part of the Internet. And- and I would not advocate seeing that get destroyed. I do think when we’re talking about accountability and responsibility, at least when it comes to children, you have a really straightforward, I think a- a pretty much straightforward alignment. I think every CEO, or there- there aren’t many CEOs who I think can- can forever shake that responsibility. Because- because we’re talking about children here.
And- and at the end of the day, this is- this is a platform that is not just distracting our kids, but educating our kids and informing our kids about the world. And there are real consequences to that. And- and they’re both, they’re- they’re good ones. And- and there are bad ones. And I think we’ve now- we’ve far- we’ve gone far beyond the period of like, aw shucks, we don’t know. We’re just this little startup. The role that technology companies are playing in our society is getting- it’s bigger and bigger every day. And- and so I think it’s absolutely inevitable. And I do think this is a part of the conversation that’s been put off for- for too long. And certainly when it comes to user safety, is- is really, really, really important.
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