2 min

Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook, pleads in a big opinion piece in The New York Times for a break-up of Facebook. According to Hughes, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company have too much power. “Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.”

Hughes makes it clear in the piece that he and Zuckerberg had no idea of the possible influence of the social medium when they started the platform. In the past two years, however, several privacy scandals have come to light, so Hughes now states that it is time to do something.

“Facebook dominates social media so much, that it has no market-based accountability,” said the former CEO. “That means that every time Facebook makes a mistake, we repeat an exhausting pattern: we get angry, get disappointed and eventually resign.

With the acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp, the company has become a real monopoly, with lots of power. According to Hughes, the government and its organizations were only watching as Facebook lived up to its goal to dominate. And that is now causing problems for potential competitors: “Facebook will copy its innovations, stop the platform or take over for a relatively modest amount of money.”

Break up

“The FTC’s biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to take over Instagram and WhatsApp,” says Hughes in his opinion piece. He believes that the US government should now do two things: “break up the company’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to US citizens”.

There’s a hurry, though. “The company is working fast to integrate the three platforms, which makes it more difficult for the FTC to split them up.”

Reaction Facebook

Facebook spokesman Nick Clegg reacted quickly to the opinion piece, reports Silicon Angle. He states that success does indeed come with responsibility. But: “You don’t force responsibility by calling for the break-up of a successful American company. Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved by introducing new rules for the internet. That’s exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has already called for.”

Adam Mosseri, the former boss of the News Feed and now the head of Instagram, agrees with Clegg. “Regulation is important and required, but I’m not convinced that breaking us up is the right way to go.”

This news article was automatically translated from Dutch to give Techzine.eu a head start. All news articles after September 1, 2019 are written in native English and NOT translated. All our background stories are written in native English as well. For more information read our launch article.