Facebook Rejects Co-Founder Call for Breakup, Senator Urges US Antitrust Probe

Facebook Co-Founder Calls For Break Up of Facebook: Zuckerberg Sacrificed ‘Security and Civility For Clicks’

Earlier, New York's attorney general launched an investigation into the social media company's alleged illegal collection of user email and contact data amid multiple scandals dogging the company over its alleged lack of respect for user privacy.

But never has the complaint come so forcefully from someone so instrumental to the company's very creation: In a lengthy op-ed in the New York Times, co-founder Chris Hughes-yes, Mark Zuckerberg's old dormmate at Harvard-makes the case.

Facebook's VP of Global Affairs and Communications, Nick Clegg, released a statement responding to Hughes saying, "Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company".

Hughes, who left Facebook in 2008 to work for the Obama campaign, warned that the social media giant has amassed so much power through its various platforms, including WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram that it now "faces no market-based accountability".

The company has been rocked by a series of scandals recently, including allowing its users' data to be harvested by research companies and its slow response to Russian Federation using Facebook as a means to spread disinformation during the 2016 USA election campaign.

Representative Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, said in a statement that he agreed that in retrospect that USA regulators "should not have approved Facebook's acquisition of Instagram & WhatsApp in 2012".

Critics including Hughes believe Facebook has acquired too much power to continue intact.

"Mark is a good, kind person".

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington.

"We need a new agency, empowered by Congress to regulate tech companies". Otherwise, he noted, Facebook could hold on to its monopoly status for decades.

"The FTC's biggest mistake was to allow Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp", he continued, urging that this needs to happen before Zuckerberg goes ahead with his plan to.

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Democratic presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren in March vowed to disband Facebook, Amazon.com Inc, and Alphabet Inc's Google, if elected USA president, to promote competition in the tech sector.

"I'm angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks", Hughes wrote. "But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility".

Hughes co-founded Facebook in 2004 at Harvard with Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz.

The calls to break up some of the country's biggest tech companies have been gaining steam in recent years. "There is no precedent for his ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people", Hughes wrote.

"I don't blame Mark for his quest for domination", Hughes wrote. Facebook is to privacy oversight measures as well as pay a monetary fine of up to $5 billion.

"The way forward is to heavily scrutinize future mergers and to ensure no company has anti-competitive platform privileges", Khanna said.

I reached out to Facebook to see if they had a comment, but I haven't heard back.

But critics say the amount is but a slap on the wrist for a company that had $US55.8 billion in revenue past year.

Hughes also proposed a new government agency to protect privacy.

He says the agency should "create guidelines for acceptable speech on social media" while noting that the idea might seem "un-American" at first.

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