Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg brushes off calls to break up his company

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facebook co-founder ceo mark zuckerger chris hughes

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg

 

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg dismissed calls from multiple parties for regulators to break up his company.

He said they have enough resources to invest billions of dollars in security every year.

In an interview with France 2, Zuckerberg reacted in specific to an op-ed written by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes.

Hughes said Zuckerberg’s power and control is uncalled for and “un-American.”

He cited the company’s ineffective response to the spread of harmful, abusive content in Myanmar through the platform.

Joining the likes of US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Hughes is calling for the Federal Trade Commission and other regulators to split Facebook into smaller companies.

“My main reaction is that what he’s proposing we do isn’t going to do anything to help,” Zuckerberg told France 2 on Friday.

In his op-ed in The New York Times, Hughes said his insights came following the 2016 presidential election.

Russians used Facebook to wage a deceptive propaganda movement leading to the elections. They also used the social network for the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Zuckerberg was in France to meet President Emmanuel Macron.

He reasoned that the size of his company benefits the security of democracy and its users.

“If what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to invest billions of dollars a year, like we are, in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference,” Zuckerberg said.

“Our budget for safety this year is bigger than the whole revenue of our company was when we went public earlier this decade. A lot of that is because we’ve been able to build a successful business that can now support that,” he added.

Facebook is facing scrutiny from foreign and local regulators and politicians for its alleged misuse of data privacy.

The FTC started investigating Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

The government regulator is probing if Facebook violated a 2011 agreement to gain explicit consent from its users for sharing their data.

Facebook revealed a $3 billion charge due to the FTC inquiry and projected the final charge to reach $5 billion.

Presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed in March to enforce changes on the tech industry.

She proposes to break up big tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook and Google.

“Facebook is the perfect case on which to reverse course, precisely because Facebook makes its money from targeted advertising, meaning users do not pay to use the service. But it is not actually free, and it certainly isn’t harmless,” Hughes said, warning Google and Amazon for their business model.

“Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company. Accountability of tech companies can only be achieved through the painstaking introduction of new rules for the internet. That is exactly what Mark Zuckerberg has called for. Indeed, he is meeting Government leaders this week to further that work,” Nick Clegg, Facebook VP of Global Affairs and Communications, said in a statement.


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Author: Francis Rey

Francis is a voracious reader and prolific writer. His work appears on SocialBarrel.com and several other websites, covering social media, technology and other niches.

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