Tristan Harris speaks to the US senate - Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms

I uploaded the hearing to YouTube and Im also adding it to

Have a listen and feel free to discuss! :slight_smile:


This is the most important testimony Congress has heard in 20 years. No other issue is as important. It’s the foundation of the new society. Tristan should be made head of a new “Department of Digital Defense” - not kidding.

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Thank you for sharing that video. It has only 40 views on youtube and I would not find it without this forum.

The person from Google Well being UX should not be invited if she cannot speak to the recommendation system.
It was kind of waste of time with inviting a ux-person.

Tristan always tells the same stories which are the truth and how he is educating about this complicated topic is great, but I looks like, that he is quit not more up-to-date because he does not have more internal information about the big companies. Or he is putting them back for future conversations.

Everybody is talking about persuasive technologies but no one wanted to define it what it is actually.

if pull to fresh and autoplay is a dark design for persuasive technology and a company is using that. Why do Tristan says, google is not using persuasive technologies?

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It is important that the senators paid attention to this topic and some of them seem very concerned. I was very concerned as a parent when I heard that 80% of the kids between the age 6 thru 12 watch youtube daily. That’s a huge number and that makes our kids being shaped through whatever information they see online. As @tristanh said when we say directly people do not understand the effects, however when we show them how they are manipulated, then, they started to listen. Nobody wants to be manipulated. That’s why public awareness is very important. We all should work together for the same goal of creating the awareness.


(moved and merged from separate topic)

At June 25th Tristan Harris appeared as a witness at the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, on a hearing titled, “Optimizing for Engagement: Understanding the Use of Persuasive Technology on Internet Platforms,”

Hearing webpage and video

The hearing examines how algorithmic decision-making and machine learning on internet platforms might be influencing the public. Witnesses provide insight on ways technology companies use algorithms and machine learning to influence outcomes, and whether algorithm transparency or algorithm explanation are appropriate policy responses.

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This was an amazing talk. I’m going to summarize it into a blog post on my Medium account. I was so impressed with Senator Schatz and Chairman Thune, who appear to have a much stronger understanding of the subject matter than hearings I have watched in the past. I will post a link to my summary of the hearing once it is available.