Facebook Responds In NY Times Op-Ed To Co-Founder’s Call For Its Breakup

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Facebook has responded to a call by one of its co-founders for the social media giant’s break-up.

Nick Clegg, Facebook’s VP for global affairs and communications, wrote in the New York Times that “big in itself isn’t bad” and said that such massive success “should not be penalized.”

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Clegg was responding to a May 9 op-ed from Chris Hughes, who co-founded the company with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2004, then left in 2007. Hughes said elected officials should do something about the growing monopoly, noting that Facebook’s influence was growing too powerful, calling it “unprecedented and un-American.” He also said that the company was not being accountable, particularly on privacy concerns and election interference.

In the response, Clegg admitted that Facebook does need to be held to account, but shouldn’t be broken up by those fears. “Anyone worried about the challenges we face in an online world should look at getting the rules of the internet right, not dismantling successful American companies,” Clegg wrote.

Any breakup of Facebook wouldn’t eliminate concerns about privacy or elections, Clegg contended. “Fixing these problems requires significant resources — and strong new rules.” He added that Hughes did not understand anti-trust laws, and said that calling for Facebook’s breakup had “dangerous implications” for the American technology sector.

Far from being a monopoly, Facebook faces challenges from YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok, Clegg wrote.

“In messaging, we’re not even the leader in the top three markets — China, Japan and, by our estimate, the United States — where we compete with Apple’s iMessage, WeChat, Line and Microsoft’s Skype,” he continued.

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