Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of the social media giant Facebook, has made a forceful call to regulators. This was done in the New York Times in an op-ed that was published last Thursday. The call was for the breakup of the company by said regulators.
Hughes, who sought more green pastures and left the company to become a part of President Obama’s campaign in 2008, believes that based on his experience while he was a part of Facebook, the social media firm has more power now than any private company should. He did, however state that he believes that Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook has no ill will or corrupt intentions. However, Hughes, stated that in addition to having a majority stake in the company, Zuckerberg now has far too much unchecked power.
Hughes believes that of the issues that this presents, the worst is the CEO’s unilateral hold on speech as no precedent exists to censor or monitor the interactions of the two billion users that are now enrolled in the platform.
Nick Clegg, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Affairs, released a statement in which me said that Facebook is aware of the accountability that is associated with the power to which Hughes speaks. However, Clegg does not believe that Hughes was justified in seeking the break up of a successful firm. He further goes on to state that better internet rules are the right way to achieve the necessary accountability and Zuckerberg has been asking for that.
Hughes stated that the problem began when the Federal Trade Commission allowed Facebook to acquire both WhatsApp and Instagram in the first place. Hughes’ call uncoincidentally has come at a time when Facebook has made intentions known of plans to merge the messaging technology that runs all three platforms.
According to Hughes, the breakup of such a successful company, or at least an attempt, is likely to send a well needed message to the technology industry.