Maher slams 'drug dealers' Apple, Facebook for addictive apps

Bill MaherWilliam (Bill) MaherLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight If Trump was such a dictator, Donny Deutsch would be in prison Maher: The Clintons need to 'go away' for 2020 election MORE scolded Apple, Google and Facebook on Friday night, characterizing the Silicon giants as “essentially drug dealers” for creating addictive applications that kids can't stop using. 
 
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“The tycoons of social media have to stop pretending that they’re friendly nerd gods building a better world and admit they’re just tobacco farmers in T-shirts selling an addictive product to children," said Maher on his weekly "Real Time" program on HBO. "Because, let’s face it, checking your ‘likes’ is the new smoking."
 
“Apple, Google, Facebook, they’re essentially drug dealers,” he said.
 
Maher's assessment comes after an Anderson Cooper "60 Minutes" report on "brain hacking" due to mobile phone addiction.
 
"This thing is a slot machine," Tristan Harris, a former Design Ethicist at Google, told Cooper in an April report. 
 
"How is that a slot machine?" Cooper asked. 
 
"Well every time I check my phone, I’m playing the slot machine to see, 'What did I get?' This is one way to hijack people’s minds and create a habit, to form a habit," explained Harris. "How do you make it so when someone pulls a lever, sometimes they get a reward, an exciting reward. And it turns out that this design technique can be embedded inside of all these products." 
 
Maher described the addiction process in his own way. 
 
“We all know the feeling — you post a picture on social media and when the likes pop up, it floods your brain with gratifying dopamine,” the 61-year-old host said. “It comes to this — you don’t exist until you get a smiley face?
 
"And then that’s not enough — you need a thumbs up. Or better yet a giant thumbs up. A giant black thumbs up!”
 
Per the CBS report, the average person interacts with their phone over 2,600 times a day.  
 
“it wants all your attention, all the time. It’s not a service; it’s Glenn Close in ‘Fatal Attraction.’ There is something being crushed out there but it ain’t candy. Phillip Morris just wanted your lungs; the App Store wants your soul.”