A former Facebook executive is interested in seeing Facebook get chopped into pieces.
An op-ed written by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes in the New York Times expressed a resolve to “break up Facebook.” In the lengthy article , Hughes addressed many of the company’s ills, including Facebook’s privacy scandals and the concept that Facebook helped Donald Trump become president.
Hughes, who used to own the liberal publication The New Republic, apologized for “not thinking more about how the News Feed algorithm could change our culture, influence elections and empower nationalist leaders.”
He washed his hands of Facebook’s current status, but ultimately blamed himself for helping develop the tools that Facebook now relies on. “I feel a sense of anger and responsibility,” wrote Hughes, who left Facebook to campaign as a volunteer for then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama in 2007.
However, Hughes also revealed some concerning elements of Facebook, painting Zuckerberg as a tech dictator who was out for domination. “Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares,” said Hughes. “Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered.”
Ultimately, Hughes was in favor of splitting Facebook up and setting up heavy government regulation for the company. He felt that only government regulation could make Facebook more accountable to the public.
Facebook has been at the center of many privacy scandals, where millions of users’ data was compromised, including exposing millions of passwords and uploading 540 million users’ data to Amazon Cloud.
Facebook Vice President Nick Clegg responded to NBC for comment, saying, “But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the break up of a successful American company," Clegg said. "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.”