One of Facebook’s Founders Warns of Zuckerberg's ‘Near-Unilateral Power'

Chris Hughes and Mark Zuckerberg in 2004

Mr Hughes said that his fellow founder Mark Zuckerberg had created a "leviathan" of a company and its "monopoly" needed to be broken up.

Days after calling on the US government to break up Facebook Inc., one of the company's co-founders amplified his concerns over the level of Mark Zuckerberg's sway across the social media empire and its billions of users. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. The founders of Instagram and WhatsApp have left, as has the executive who took over WhatsApp previous year.

"Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability", Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president for global affairs and communication, told The New York Times.

He later cited "artistic differences" with Zuckerberg as his reason for leaving, without elaborating. "But the challenges he alludes to, including election interference and privacy safeguards, won't evaporate by breaking up Facebook or any other big tech company".

The Facebook op-ed also accused Hughes and other critics of misunderstanding the objective of federal antitrust law.

Hughes suggested Zuckerberg should be held responsible for the privacy and other lapses at the company, echoing a call earlier this month by Democratic US Senator Ron Wyden to hold the CEO individually liable for "repeated violations" of privacy.

"The government must hold Mark accountable".

As a result, the social media space of today has no meaningful challengers to Facebook and, no matter how much public outrage Facebook's malpractice (data leak, election meddling, etc.) has sparked, its two billion regular users have no alternative social networking services to turn to. He added that Hughes did not understand anti-trust laws, and said that calling for Facebook's breakup had "dangerous implications" for the American technology sector. "It's time to #BreakUpBigTech", Warren said on Twitter on Thursday.

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

Chris was referring to the Cambridge Analytica scandal where personal data of 50 million people were harvested for political campaigns, and a bug inside Facebook that publicly published 14 million private accounts and affected its users worldwide.

Facebook is reportedly expecting to face a fine of $5 billion.

"These laws, developed in the 1800s, are not meant to punish a company because people disagree with its management", wrote Clegg, who argued that antitrust law was instead intended to ensure that consumers had access to affordable, good-quality products.

The vice president also counters Hughes' argument that Facebook dominates too much of the online world.

"The - your biggest concern, you say in the piece is the degree to which Mark Zuckerberg has nearly total control over what information we all read about, access", said Zakaria.

Hughes called Zuckerberg's power "unprecedented and un-American" and said his co-founder's focus on growth "led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks". "Would love to chat about it if you're open", Mosseri said.



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