Chris Hughes, who helped Mark Zuckerberg transform Facebook from a dorm-room project into a real business, is calling for it to be broken up. In a lengthy opinion piece published Thursday, May 9, by the New York Times, Hughes wrote that Zuckerberg has “unchecked power” and influence “far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government.”
Facebook rejected Hughes’ call for WhatsApp and Instagram to be made into separate companies, and said the focus should instead be on regulating the internet, reported Reuters.
“Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the break up of a successful American company,” Facebook spokesman Nick Clegg said in a statement.
“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.”
Hughes co-founded Facebook in 2004 at Harvard with Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz. He left Facebook in 2007, and has said in a LinkedIn post that he made half a billion dollars for his three years of work.
“It’s been 15 years since I co-founded Facebook at Harvard, and I haven’t worked at the company in a decade. But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility,” Hughes wrote in the New York Times piece.
Hughes also suggested Zuckerberg should be held responsible for privacy and other lapses at the company.
“The government must hold Mark accountable. For too long, lawmakers have marveled at Facebook’s explosive growth and overlooked their responsibility to ensure that Americans are protected and markets are competitive,” he said.