Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes on Thursday called for the dismantling of the social network, calling into question Facebook’s monopoly on the market and the unparalleled power of its leader Mark Zuckerberg.
In a column titled “It’s time to dismantle Facebook,” published by the New York Times on Thursday, Hughes writes that “Mark’s influence is staggering and far more important than anyone in the private sector or government,” noting that it controls three communication platforms, namely Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp which are each used by billions of people every day.
“Facebook’s board serves more as a board than a supervisor, because Mark controls about 60 percent of the votes,” he said.
“Mark is the only one who decides how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see on their newsfeed, what privacy settings they can use, and what messages are delivered. He sets the rules on how to distinguish violent and inflammatory speeches from those who are simply offensive, and he can choose to close a competitor by acquiring, blocking or copying him,” he continued.
The co-founder of Facebook then urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in coordination with the Justice Department, to enforce antitrust laws to cancel Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp while banning it of any future acquisition.
“The cost of dismantling Facebook would be close to zero for the government, and many people could benefit economically,” he said, noting that such a move is likely to boost competition in the country of social networks sector and while multiplying the offer for advertisers.
“Dismantling Facebook is not enough,” said Hughes, who called for the creation of a new Congress-controlled agency to regulate tech companies whose primary mission would be to protect data privacy.
“Mark Zuckerberg can not repair Facebook, but our government can,” he concluded, joining his path to those of the Massachusetts senator and Democratic primary candidate Elizabeth Warren who also calls for the dismantling of Facebook and Amazon, believing that their monopoly is illegal.
For two years, the scandals are multiplying around the management of Facebook, its practices in terms of privacy protection against data leaks, the slowness of the reaction to the Russian influence, fake news and the spread of violence.