NEW YORK – One of Facebook’s original founders is calling on the federal government to break up the company.
In an editorial in the New York Times, Chris Hughes said Facebook, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, are too powerful. “Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American,” Hughes told NBC. “The reason I’m speaking out is because I think Facebook has become too big, too powerful.”
Hughes says the company, which is worth half a trillion dollars, is a monopoly, and it’s “erasing” competition and should be separated into multiple companies.
Tony Romm, a Tech Policy Reporter at the Washington Post, said it’s about more than just breaking up the company. “He talked about disentangling Facebook from some of the apps it owns like Instagram and Whatsapp which he says the U.S. Government should never have allowed Facebook to purchase in the first place.”
Hughes, who left Facebook in 2007 and sold his shares five years later, is especially critical of Zuckerberg. “He is extremely powerful because he has no boss. Because there is no regulatory agency from the federal government.”
A statement in response to Hughes said in part:
“You don’t enforce accountability by calling for the break up of a successful American company. Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the internet.”
Hughes is calling for a new government agency to regulate Facebook and other tech companies to protect user privacy.