In an unexpected move, Facebook’s co-founder and former employee, Chris Hughes came out gun blazing calling for the breaking up of Facebook saying that it has become too big for its own good. In an Opinion piece published in the New York Times, Chris tries to dig up America’s government past actions against big cooperations, in an effort to paint Facebook’s current state as “un-American”.
In the op-ed, Chris admits that Mark is a brilliant human being but goes ahead to accuse him of sacrificing privacy for clicks, Mark’s obsession with growth, led him to sacrifice privacy for clicks,” he says. Chris Hughes paints Facebook as a monopoly and says that Mark – who control’s the entire family of Facebook apps has become too powerful.
He indirectly says that Facebook is a predator who either acquires its competitors or copies their outstanding features thus pushing Facebook to dominance. He goes ahead to basically blame Facebook for the death of Vine, citing that when Vine launched, Facebook blocked the platform from hosting a tool that let Vine users search for their Facebook friends.
Chris Hughes, who left Facebook in 2007 and thereafter liquidated his shares, calls on the American government to do something about Facebook. He says that the government has put a leash on monopolistic companies before and thus Facebook should not be treated differently.
Chris says that Facebook should be broken up and their acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp unwound to guarantee healthy competition in the social media space. He also suggests that the government should create an independent agency to regulate internet companies as well as set guidelines on how personal data should be handled.
The co-founder claims that Facebook’s impending $5 billion fine by the FCC is not enough to instil discipline on the social media giant.
Following the wildfire that caught on after this op-ed hit press, Facebook responded through the company’s VP of global affairs and communication claiming that breaking up the company would be going too far, “Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company,” writes Nick Clegg.
“Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the internet. That is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has called for. Indeed, he is meeting government leaders this week to further that work,” he completes.
So now the battle lines have been drawn and Facebook is on the defensive against increasing calls (mostly by influencial people) to break up the company and strongly regulate the industry.