“It’s Time to Break Up Facebook” went viral today. The New York Times op-ed written by Chris Hughes, former co-founder of the social media giant, takes a look back at his relationship with Mark Zuckerberg and begs into question the power and dominance of Facebook.
Not surprisingly, Hughes blames the government’s lack of oversight in failing to stop the beast before he grew too big. Is now too late? Hughes doesn’t think so – in fact he says we need to hustle, and I would agree with him.
The big takeaway from his op-ed stems from the status of Facebook as a monopoly in the marketplace and the government’s failed efforts to weigh an invisible hand (ah, thank you, Stern economics classes for that reference). No other social media company can compete because no one can compare to the multibillion-dollar corporation. “This means there’s less chance of start-ups developing healthier, less exploitative social media platforms,” Hughes writes. “It also means less accountability on issues like privacy.” Privacy, the most serious problem at stake here.
Zuckerberg’s dominance is crowding out entrepreneurs, limiting our choices as consumers, but, more concerningly, is the fact that the company’s former co-founder is calling bluff on its attempt to monitor two billion users’ conversations, much less our data.