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It is time to break up Facebook: Company's Co-founder
It is time to break up Facebook -- mired in several data scandals and privacy violation cases -- as Mark Zuckerberg has yielded "unchecked power" and influence "far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government", the social network giant`s Co-founder Chris Hughes has stressed.
It is time to break up Facebook -- mired in several data scandals and privacy violation cases -- as Mark Zuckerberg has yielded "unchecked power" and influence "far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government", the social network giant`s Co-founder Chris Hughes has stressed. In an opinion piece in The New York Times on Thursday, Hughes said the government must hold Mark (Zuckerberg) accountable. "Mark`s personal reputation and the reputation of Facebook have taken a nose-dive.
"The company`s mistakes ? the sloppy privacy practices that dropped tens of millions of users` data into a political consulting firm`s lap; the slow response to Russian agents, violent rhetoric and fake news; and the unbounded drive to capture ever more of our time and attention ? dominate the headlines," wrote Hughes who, during his freshman year at Harvard University in 2002, was recruited by Zuckerberg for Facebook.
"Mark is a good, kind person. But I`m angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks," Hughes argued. "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 added.
Embroiled in users` data scandals, Facebook is set to create new privacy positions within the company that would include a committee, and external evaluator and a chief compliance officer, an NYT report said earlier this month. Facebook has already kept aside $3 billion, anticipating a record fine coming from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) related to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal that involved 87 million users.
"We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark`s power is unprecedented and un-American. "It is time to break up Facebook," added Hughes who currently works as Co-chairman of the Economic Security Project and senior adviser at the Roosevelt Institute. Realising his mistakes, Zuckerberg has said gaining users` trust is now his top agenda. "I know we don`t exactly have the strongest reputation on privacy right now. I am committed to doing this well.
"This is a fundamental shift in how we build products and run our company," the Facebook CEO said this month. The Facebook case is being looked at as a measure of the Donald Trump administration`s willingness to regulate US tech companies.
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