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Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes: Social network should be broken up

Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, said the government must hold the social networking giant accountable after a series of missteps and break it up.

In an opinion piece published by The New York Times, Hughes said he feels “a sense of anger and responsibility” for Facebook’s direction, which included a massive privacy scandal involving unauthorized access to user information by political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Hughes also said the power of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is “unprecedented and un-American,” citing his control of 60% of voting shares and his direct role in configuring News Feed algorithms or how users can maintain their privacy.

“Mark is a good, kind person. But I’m angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks,” wrote Hughes. “I’m disappointed in myself and the early Facebook team for not thinking more about how the News Feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders. And I’m worried that Mark has surrounded himself with a team that reinforces his beliefs instead of challenging them.”

Hughes also said Facebook holds a monopoly over most of social media and the internet, between Facebook and platforms acquired by the company in recent years such as Instagram and WhatsApp. Hughes also criticized the Federal Trade Commission, saying the agency’s “biggest mistake” was allowing Facebook to acquire Instagram and WhatsApp.

“When it hasn’t acquired its way to dominance, Facebook has used its monopoly position to shut out competing companies or has copied their technology,” he said.

Read more at USA Today. 

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