12 People Talk About Inventions They Think Did More Harm Than Good

It’s kind of fascinating to think about what inventors really had in mind when they came up with new ideas.

And it’s also interesting to ponder whether they could really comprehend where their inventions would eventually go and what kind of impact they would have on the world.

Folks on AskReddit shared what inventions they think did more harm than good.

Let’s take a look.

1. That’s a hot take.

“Al**hol as a beverage.

Like it or not, if al**hol as a beverage was discovered today, it would be illegal.”

2. Major problems.

“Lead in paint.

Doctors were telling us it would cause severe neurological problems for about 80 years before the US finally listened and banned it.

There are houses in the US today that still have lead paint.”

3. Going way back.

“The cotton gin.

Yeah it alleviated the work of slaves but it catapulted the demand for slavery and some historians note it as one of the causes of the American Civil War.”

4. Done a lot of damage.

“High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Used to sweeten food, enhance flavor, and add texture and volume, HFCS is a cheap and easily mass-produced ingredient that’s become a prime culprit of the US obesity epidemic. Why? Well from 1970 to 2000, there was a 25% increase in “added sugars” in the US.

After being classified as GRAS, HFCS began to replace sucrose as the main sweetener of soft drinks in the United States. At the same time, rates of obesity rose.”

5. Be careful with that thing!

“It has to be the guillotine.

A French device which appeared during the French Revolution because France still employed gruesome methods of execution which were faulty at times. The guillotine was invented as a means of quick painless execution, but it was so efficient that it led to an increase in its usage during the following years, as the punish rate skyrocketed.

Needless to say, the good intentions of its creation turned bad quite quickly… Talk about having a happy trigger finger.”

6. My teeth hurt.

“Soda/sugary drinks

Drinking sugar drinks contributes to obesity, diabetes and other diseases. Yet it’s available EVERYWHERE you go. And cheap to buy.

It also doesn’t help that soda in aluminum cans are lined with BPA that can cause high blood pressure. And soda is also packaged in plastic bottles that also contain BPA which can enter the blood stream and cause cancer.

If the sugary drinks don’t get you first… The packaging will.”

7. It adds up.

“The keurig cups.

From what I recall the guy that started that whole thing regretted it because of the amount of garbage those little single use keurig cups waste.”

8. A forever chemical.

“Teflon. A cancer causing chemical used in everything from baby bottles to fabrics to cookware and everything else.

Teflon is a “forever chemical” and is detected globally in humans, soil, drinking water, food and animals.”

9. Weapon of war.

“Machine g**s.

The inventor of the AK-47 said something along the lines of, “I would have preferred to have invented a lawn mower.””

10. Seems to be out of control.

“Cable news

It’s nonstop mind control now.

They tell folks what to buy (which they do now by calling it a shortage, results in mass panic.) I’m sure someone holds shares in whatever they tell as it’s just getting odd now.

They tell folks where they should vacation and not vacation.

They tell folks what brands they should and shouldn’t buy.

They tell folks who they should and shouldn’t vote for. This is EXTREMELY DANGEROUS.

Yes, they pass all this off as opinion peices, people just take it as the truth and not an opinion.”

11. Echo chamber.


Echo chamber, ego inflating, self importance and attention seeking galore.”

12. People have strong feelings about it.


Started as an opportunity for people to rent out a spare room and meet travelers. Has morphed into a short-term rental platform where wealthy second home owners let entire homes or apartments at the expense of local communities.

Residents in once peaceful neighborhoods are forced to endure all the impacts that come with living next to makeshift unregulated hotels and group accommodation.

Loud parties any night of the week, a steady stream of strangers in apartment blocks or residential streets, parking congestion, masses of rubbish, security issues, loss of community all become commonplace.

Long-term rentals dry up because Airbnb is more lucrative and local businesses, in some cases even local hospitals, can’t find staff as they have nowhere to live. Long-term locals find themselves kicked out of their rentals to make way for another more lucrative Airbnb.

They are left with nowhere to go as other long-term rentals have gone the same way and it’s pushed prices up so much that buying a property is no longer an option.

Residential neighborhoods become a smattering of hotels without the volunteers and local people that once gave the place the sense of community that attracted many visitors to the area in the first place.

Most Airbnb users wouldn’t be aware of the detrimental impacts Airbnb can have for local communities.”

Now we want to hear from you.

Tell us what inventions you think did more harm than good.

Do it in the comments!