Earlier this month, Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes published an opinion piece in The New York Times, outlining why Facebook should be broken up. Now, Mark Zuckerberg has responded to that piece, and as you might expect, he’s not too fond of the idea.
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In the op-ed piece last week, Hughes said that Facebook and Zuckerberg have obtained “unprecedented and un-American power.” The solutions proposed by Hughes include breaking up Facebook and establishing strong government oversight.
As noted by CNBC, Zuckerberg addressed Hughes’ comments during an interview with French broadcaster France 2. The Facebook CEO said that his main reaction to Hughes’ proposal is that “what he’s proposing we do isn’t going to do anything to help.”
Zuckerberg went on to argue that Facebook’s immense size and power is actually good for users if “you care about democracy and elections.” Specifically, he noted that Facebook has been spending “billions of dollars a year” on tools to fight election interference:
“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.
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.”
Despite Zuckerberg’s claims, Facebook is facing increased scrutiny from regulators. The social network is currently in negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission over the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. Facebook is expected to get hit with a fine between $3 billion and $5 billion. Through the deal, Zuckerberg himself could reportedly be held responsible for Facebook’s privacy lapses going forward.