Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes Calling On Facebook Breakup Amidst Regulatory Issues

Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at a summit in Paris (Photo: Reuters)

One of the founders of the social media platform Facebook, who had helped it become the giant that it is today, has now publicly called on the company to be broken up amidst regulatory issues. Facebook's co-founder Chris Hughes, who was Mark Zuckerberg's roommate in Harvard, stated in an interview that he believed the platform has amassed too much unchecked power and that its influence was growing too much for any one man to handle.

Hughes, who had worked on the company since it was established by Zuckerberg in 2003, suggested in a lengthy opinion piece on the New York Times that regulators should break up the company for its own good. The platform's co-founder explained that he had nothing against Zuckerberg, but he is openly against his focus of opting to sacrifice security and civility to get more traffic and growth.

Hughes further explained in the piece that he was very much disappointed with himself and the platform as a whole as he had not anticipated how much their platform would influence the world. Facebook's News Feed algorithm has apparently had a huge impact on global cultures, which Hughes mentioned included influencing elections and empowering nationalism.

Apart from Hughes, other prominent figures in the tech industry have called for an investigation into Facebook and other similar platforms. The call includes much stricter regulatory action against these companies given how much influence they hold on countries and governments worldwide. This is particularly evident in the recent slew of data privacy scandals, fake news, and election meddling, which have all put these companies in the limelight.

Zuckerberg had previously mentioned that he was open to following new regulations. Facebook currently controls an estimated 80 percent of the entire world's social media revenues, partly thanks to Zuckerberg's leadership and his drive to dominate any competition. The company recently acquired major rivals such as Whatsapp and Instagram, paving the way for what Hughes calls a "powerful monopoly" in the particular space.

In his closing arguments, Hughes called on the United States government to establish a new agency whose sole purpose is to regulate large tech firms such as Facebook. The co-founder, who hasn't worked with Facebook in more than a decade, explained that Facebook's monopoly is severely restricting consumer choice and extinguishes entrepreneurship in the country.

In response to Hughes' statement, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, Nick Clegg, stated that no good will come with breaking up the company. Clegg explained that accountability is part of success and Facebook is ready to accept any new regulations as long as it is within reason.

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