Facebook Co-Founder Calls for Social Media Giant to be Split

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Facebook Co-Founder Calls for Social Media Giant to be Split

Mark Zuckerberg sitting before Congress in 2018

Mark Zuckerberg sitting before Congress in 2018

The Hollywood Reporter

Mark Zuckerberg sitting before Congress in 2018

The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter

Mark Zuckerberg sitting before Congress in 2018

Jacob Pieczynski, Contributor

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One of the Facebook co-founders, Chris Hughes, has called for the social media giant, Facebook, to be broken up. In a  piece for the New York Times, Hughes spoke about his relationship with Mark Zuckerberg and how the power has gotten to his head. He said that at this point, Facebook is so large and has so much power that the only thing left for Facebook is for it to be split. Facebook is huge. It is the owner of three major communications channels, Instagram, WhatsApp, and obviously, Facebook. Billions of people every day log onto one, two, or all of the applications run by Facebook. It shapes the way people look at the world, the way people get their information, and it changes people’s opinions. Facebook started social media and now it is the big man on the playground when it comes to the digital sphere. They have stolen the information of millions of people, spread fake news, and allowed hate speech to occur on their platform.

Hughes thinks Zuckerberg, who owns about 61% of Facebook market shares, cannot fix the company. While he has a board of directors, Hughs says that at this point they are more just a board of advisers, giving Zuckerberg advice when he wants it. “I don’t think that Mark Zuckerberg can fix Facebook,” Hughes said. “I think only government can — by making the market more competitive, by breaking it up, and by creating these privacy restrictions.” (NBC News) Facebook gets to decide what qualifies as hate speech on their platforms. As a testament to this, they banned Alex Jones among others a few days ago. Hughs says that after the Facebook monopoly is broken up, there should be federal regulations on what counts and dangerous and hate speech. When this is subjective to the average person, anything that offends them could be counted as hate speech.

With the recent privacy scandals coming out of Facebook, privacy advocates have been calling for a change of leadership inside the company, at the minimum. They say that Zuckerberg as the helm of the company is allowing incredibly shady things to happen, such as the selling of millions of people’s data to Cambridge Analytica. After Zuckerberg testified before Congress in 2018, more and more calls came out calling for Zuckerberg to be removed.

The breakup of AT&T in the 80’s and 90’s as well as Whole Food’s sale of Whole Oats a few years ago is a good example of how Hughes wants to have Facebook broken up. He doesn’t want them to cease operations, just broken up and a change in leadership. Whether this happens or not, Mark Zuckerberg maintains control of the company. Even if his board were to create an uprising, Zuckerberg has more shares than all of them combined, and can only be forced to leave by the government.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/09/opinion/sunday/chris-hughes-facebook-zuckerberg.html

https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/facebook-co-founder-says-zuckerberg-not-accountable-calls-government-break-n1003606

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