Joseph Gordon-Levitt thinks social media targets “primal emotions”.
The 41-year-old actor has hit out at the ever-increasing influence of social media, and warned that the big tech companies are purely focused on profit.
The Hollywood star – who shot to fame as a child – told The Independent: “I mean the system of how social media works, these machine-learning algorithms that lead to sensationalism, reductionism, tribalism, extremism, authoritarianism. All those things, what they have in common with pornography is that they stiumlate the limbic system. They hit here [thumps his chest].
“They’re not aimed at your cerebral cortex, not aimed at your slower-thinking muscles. They’re aimed at your quick primal emotions because that’s what will keep you hooked and that’s what will allow the platform to serve you more ads and make more money.”
The ‘Inception’ star believes social media companies are happy to push things to the limit in order to maximise profit.
He observed: “It plays into the decision-making process at Facebook or ByteDance [the company that owns TikTok], this need for constant growth at whatever cost.”
Joseph insists more needs to be done in order to curb the potentially unhealthy influence of these platforms.
However, he admits that more changes would be self-defeating for a lot of the tech companies.
Joseph – whose film credits include ‘Don Jon’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ – said: “They’ll make some gestures at moderation.
“Apple is probably the company that most tries to moderate the excess that comes with some of its new technology. But really these are small measures compared to what needs to be done.
“If they were to do that, it would spell their own demise.”