Facebook needs to be broken up - Co-founder

Sunday, 12 May, 2019

Clegg, a British former deputy prime minister, reasoned that carefully crafted regulation of the Internet is the way to hold technology companies accountable, and noted that Zuckerberg has been advocating for just that.

"Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability".

After Hughes' opinion went online, Facebook issued a statement rejecting his point of view and emphasizing on the value of internet regulation rather than "the breakup of a successful American company".

Hughes joins USA lawmakers who have also urged anti-trust action to break up big tech companies as well as federal privacy regulation.

Chris Hughes is seen with Mark Zuckerberg in this undated photo obtained by CNN.

Hughes isn't the only one asking for break-up of Facebook.

Debate has begun on a federal privacy protection bill. "I know it's not good for me, or for my son, and yet I do it anyway". Now, he's calling for the company to be broken up.

He quit Facebook in 2007 and later said in a LinkedIn post that he had made half a billion dollars for his three years of work.

Hughes, who left Facebook in 2008 to work for the Obama campaign, warned that the social media giant has amassed so much power through its various platforms, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram that it now "faces no market-based accountability".

Facebook has been beleaguered with string of scandals. The founders of Instagram and WhatsApp have left, as has the executive who took over WhatsApp past year. No major social media company has been founded since the fall of 2011, Hughes noted.

He later cited "artistic differences" with Zuckerberg as his reason for leaving, without elaborating.

If we are being met with daily reports of Facebook's sometimes-illegal failures, all while it exists as a monopoly in defiance of federal antitrust law, then that says quite a bit about the power that Facebook has over our political system.

Despite its scandals, the company's core business has proven resilient.

For an hour or two, they talked about politics, Facebook and family. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, notably called for the reversal of Facebook's mergers earlier this year while advocating for breaking up the tech behemoths. The issue isn't just that Facebook got too big and the US needs figure out new and novel ways to fight its power. They've bulldozed competition, used our private info for profit, hurt small businesses & stifled innovation. The apparent avalanche of disasters hasn't dented Facebook's finances; its earnings per share increased 40% past year, despite a torrent of public failures.

"Some days, lying on the floor next to my 1-year-old son as he plays with his dinosaurs, I catch myself scrolling through Instagram, waiting to see if the next image will be more lovely than the last", he wrote.

Hughes argues the power Zuckerberg has in terms of collecting and storing data on billions of people has gone unchecked by the government and allowed the company to make several mistakes involving user privacy without proper punishment.

Hughes' essay is largely focused on CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose "personal reputation and the reputation of Facebook have taken a nose-dive" in recent years, he writes. "But I'm angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks", Hughes said.

"In all cases the witnesses provided have been senior and experienced members of the Facebook team who we believe have been best placed to respond to the broad range of questions being asked".