Facebook has been in a lot of trouble over the past few years due to its inability to police its platform properly and also for failing to protect the privacy of its users. Two years ago, it was revealed that the political consultant Cambridge Analytica pilfered private data of around 87 million users and the social media giant failed to protect the users. In light of that, the Federal Trade Commission is all set to levy a hefty fine on the company, which could be anything between $3 billion and $4 billion. However, a bigger question is now facing many lawmakers in the United States and also on the co-founder of Facebook. Has Facebook become too big to be controlled?
Chris Hugest, who is one of the company’s co-founders, has urged lawmakers to break up Facebook and spin it into three separate entities. On the other hand, a range of lawmakers has asked for antitrust proceedings on the company. In an article for the New York Times, Hughes stated, “We are a nation with a tradition of reining in monopolies, no matter how well-intentioned the leaders of these companies may be. Mark’s power is unprecedented and un-American.” Facebook has been facing similar calls for the breakup of the company from several lawmakers all across the world, but so far the company has managed to resist those calls. In its response to Hughes’ statement, Facebook stated that breaking up the company is not the solution and governments should do more actually to regulate the internet at large.
In addition to Hughes, lawmakers had their say about the possibility of breaking up the company as well. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal spoke to a television network regarding the matter and stated that breaking up Facebook would be the best course of action. He urged the anti-trust department of the Justice Department to open an investigation into the company’s monopolistic tendencies. These sort of calls have been made about a range of companies over the years, and it is quite rare for corporations of such size to be broken up into parts. British politician and now a spokesperson for Facebook, Nick Clegg responded to these calls and stated that breaking up of the company is no way of forcing accountability. He said, “Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability. But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the break up of a successful American company.”