Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, says the company is so big and powerful that it threatens our democracy.
Chris Hughes helped Mark Zuckerberg launch Facebook. But times have changed.
“It’s been 15 years since I co-founded Facebook at Harvard, and I haven’t worked at the company in a decade,” Hughes wrote. “But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility.”
At the middle of Facebook’s continued troubles is Zuckerberg, a CEO that Hughes argues has too much “unchecked power” — he can determine what people read, what is hate speech and what isn’t — and an incredible amount of wealth that gives him the ability to shut out any competitors by buying them out.
Mark has a “unilateral control over speech,” Hughes wrote. “There is no precedent for his ability to monitor, organize and even censor the conversations of two billion people.”
The solution to Zuckerberg’s unbridled power, according to Hughes: government regulation. WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook need to be spun out into distinct businesses to create a healthier, more competitive market. Hughes also calls for the creation for a new government agency that deals with tech regulation specifically.
“I don’t blame Mark for his quest for domination,” Hughes wrote. “Yet he has created a leviathan that crowds out entrepreneurship and restricts consumer choice. It’s on our government to ensure that we never lose the magic of the invisible hand.”
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