In a column of a leading daily, one of Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes has demanded that the social network to be divided. Chris, who helped Mark Zuckerberg to launch Facebook from his Harvard days 15 years back, stated that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) should change Facebook’s accession of WhatsApp and Instagram in order to generate more competition in the social media and messaging markets.
Hughes makes the economic argument that Facebook has become a monopoly and that this has restricted competition and stifled modernization. It’s futile for users to switch to a different social network because no serious competition is present. Hughes stated that no new social networks have been started since 2011 and that 84% of social media ads spending go directly to Facebook. He pointed out that the FTC’s breakup of AT&T in the 1980s as well as Whole Foods’ sale of Wild Oats in 2009 as a criterion for how this division could take place.
Chris stated that the problem with Facebook infringe economics. The News Feed’s algorithms rule the content that millions of people see each day, its content rules define what is regarded as hate speech, and there’s no democratic supervision of its processes. Zuckerberg’s ownership of the majority of Facebook’s shares indicates that there’s no subjective check on his power, and there’s no government agency committed to overseeing a company like Facebook.
Along with dividing the company, the Facebook co-founder requests the US to set up a government agency that’s committed to regulating tech companies like Facebook.
With his column, which is worth reading, Hughes would be joining a growing number of legislators who are demanding the split up of Facebook. Chiefly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has stated that she will divide the likes of Facebook if she’s elected as the president in 2020. Others, including Zuckerberg himself, have demanded for increased regulation of the big tech firms.