Co-founder Chris Hughes says it's time to break up Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Getty Images

"Mark's power is unprecedented and un-American", Hughes wrote on Thursday, referring to Mark Zuckerberg, his former business partner and college roommate and the current chief executive officer of Facebook. He wants the US government to use those laws to help protect people from technology and social media companies.

The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment. It is rare to break up a company but not unheard of, with Standard Oil and AT&T being the two biggest examples.

The rest of the lengthy piece goes into great detail about how Facebook got so big, why Zuckerberg isn't up to the job of keeping the company reined in, and even how the United States became so lax on flagrantly monopolistic companies.

"I don't blame Mark for his quest for domination", Hughes wrote. "He controls three core communications platforms - Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - that billions of people use every day". Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. Each service has more than 1 billion users.

Facebook's founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reacts as he speaks at the Viva Tech start-up and technology summit in Paris, France, May 24, 2018. He left the company in 2007 to work for then-Sen.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes says it's time to break up the social media behemoth. "But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility", Hughes said. There is "precedent for correcting bad decisions", he says, pointing to 2009 when Whole Foods settled antitrust complaints by selling off the Wild Oats brand and stores it had acquired years earlier. Her proposal, released in March, is supported by Senator Amy Klobuchar, another Democratic presidential candidate, who said the USA has "a major monopoly problem". He said that his team should have thought more carefully about how that might be used.

"Mark is a good, kind person", Chris Hughes (above, right, in 2004), wrote. "But I'm angry that his focus on growth led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks".

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He also said he worries that the people around Zuckerberg always agree with him and never question his ideas.

Hughes is not alone in asking for the breakup of Facebook.

Hughes also called for a new federal agency to regulate tech companies whose "first mandate is to protect privacy".

Facebook and its family of services have many competitors, and can find corporate efficiencies when it comes to data centres, talent and other resources that can work on its various offerings, Mr Clegg said. He also called for the Justice Department's antitrust division to launch an investigation.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of MA, for one, released a plan in March that would impose new rules on tech companies with $25 billion or more in annual ad revenue, forcing Amazon and Google to dramatically reduce their hold on online commerce. She thinks that action would help to support competition in the tech field.

In the opinion piece, Hughes called Facebook a monopoly that should be forced to spin off WhatsApp and Instagram, with future acquisitions banned for several years.

Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat, said in April that the was considering legislation that would focus on data portability, so users of one social media could take their information from one site to another. But you don't enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company. The changes place more emphasis on private groups and visual stories, and less on the platform's News Feed. George Grow was the editor.

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