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Co-founder says Facebook should be broken up

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on May 9, 2019 - Duration: 01:45s

Co-founder says Facebook should be broken up

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes on Thursday called for the world’s largest social media company to be split in three and said Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg should be held responsible for privacy lapses.

Zachary Goelman reports.

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Co-founder says Facebook should be broken up

A Facebook co-founder on Thursday called for the company to be broken up.

Chris Hughes, seen in here 2010, created Facebook with CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Harvard University.

In an essay in the New York Times, he wrote: "The American government needs to do two things: break up Facebook’s monopoly and regulate the company to make it more accountable to the American people." Facebook owns the largest social network with more than 2 billion users across the world.

It also owns WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram, each used by more than 1 billion people.

Hughes, who quit Facebook in 2007 to work for then-Senator Barack Obama's first presidential campaign, said far too much control over what billions of people see and read is concentrated in a single person's hands.

And he invoked an American tradition of breaking up monopolies from Standard Oil to AT&T as a precedent for tackling Facebook.

Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

But Hughes is not the first one to say the social media giant is too big.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ALASKA REPUBLICAN SENATOR DAN SULLIVAN, SAYING: "One of the key issues is, is Facebook too powerful?" U.S. Democratic presidential primary candidate Elizabeth Warren has called for the breakup of Facebook, Google, and Amazon, arguing they are anti-competitive monopolies.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY CANDIDATE ELIZABETH WARREN, SAYING: "So my view is, break those things apart and we will have a much more competitive, robust market in America.

That's how capitalism should work." The CEO wrote a piece in the Washington Post in March acknowledging Facebook's 'immense responsibilities,' and called for 'new regulation' on the Internet.

Hughes says that isn't enough, writing, "Facebook isn’t afraid of a few more rules.

It’s afraid of an antitrust case and of the kind of accountability that real government oversight would bring." Adding, "Mark Zuckerberg cannot fix Facebook, but our government can."

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