Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes called CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s power “unprecedented and un-American.” In his bombshell opinion piece published in the New York Times, Hughes said many things about Zuckerberg and the current state of Facebook. Hughes said Zuckerberg has turned Facebook into an innovation-suffocating monopoly and Zuckerberg's focus on growth “led him to sacrifice security and civility for clicks.”
Hughes co-founded Facebook with his Harvard roommates Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz, Eduardo Saverin and Andrew McCollum.
In 2007, Hughes left Facebook in 2007 to campaign for Barack Obama. Hughes said he no longer has any ownership in Facebook or any other social media company.
“I feel a sense of anger and responsibility,” he wrote, lamenting the company’s “slow response to Russian agents, violent rhetoric and fake news.”
Facebook has been under fire for its never-ending saga of privacy and security blunders and for failing to effectively prevent the misinformation and hate speech by extremist groups spreading on the platform.
Responding to Hughes’ criticisms, Facebook’s chief spokesman Nick Clegg had this to say:
"You don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company. 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 is clearly not alone. In fact, many critics believe Facebook has acquired too much power to continue intact.
Hughes also called for a new federal agency to regulate tech companies whose “first mandate is to protect privacy.”
Meanwhile, Facebook faces a fine of as much as $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations. But critics say the amount is a slap on the wrist for a company that made $55.8 billion in revenue in 2018.
Hughes says he liquidated his Facebook shares in 2012. He said he does not invest in any social media companies.
Last year, Hughes published a book called 'Fair Shot: Rethinking Inequality and How We Earn' advocating a universal basic income. In 2017, Forbes put his net worth at more than $400 million.
(With agency inputs)