Chris Hughes, one of the co-founders of Facebook, has joined his efforts with two anti-trust academics, Scott Hemphill and Tim Wu, to try to explain to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Justice Department, and state attorneys general why the social network, as well as the firm’s other services, must be broken up, The New York Times reported.
According to presentation materials for the FTC obtained by the newspaper, the trio has tried to push for the implementation of anti-trust laws against the company by arguing that Facebook has been making "serial defensive acquisitions" in recent years to solidify its position on the market. They insist that Facebook has bought out potential rivals in their infancy and then used its monopolist power to spike advertisement prices, while at the same time leaving users with a worse experience.
While it's unclear what role Hughes plays in this anti-trust case after dropping out of the company over a decade ago, it's no secret why the co-founder has turned on his and Mark Zuckerberg's creation. In an op-ed published in May 2019, he argued that Facebook's (and consequently Zuckerberg's) power had become "unprecedented and un-American". To address this, Hughes proposed to break the company up in order to reduce its hold on the market.
Hughes' efforts, aimed at dismantling Facebook in its current form, have sparked discussions on social media, with many applauding his intentions, citing recent revelations about the company's mismanagement of users' private data.
It’s about time— Marc Ebert (@MarcEbert) July 25, 2019
Good news. FB violates privacy intentionally. It’s about time.— Bozo (@bearrae) July 25, 2019
Others, however, laughed off his efforts as merely being the revenge of a "hater".
Hater lol— Alan Rodriguez (@IAlan30) July 25, 2019
He made a lot of money, but didn't receive the same recognition and can now take revenge. Amazing— Mel (@PasMello8) July 25, 2019
Some netizens saw more practical motives behind the move, such as an opportunity to profit from volatility in the price of Facebook shares following his actions.
He must be getting a lot of money for this.— paulina✨💃🏻 (@PaulinaHoke) July 25, 2019
Did he Short the Stock?— Michael McSweeney (@McSBar) July 25, 2019
Many Twitterians approached the topic with a pinch of humour, suggesting that the apparent unfolding conflict between the two Facebook founders could result in a good sequel for the famous The Social Network movie.
We need The Social Network 2. One of the best movies this decade pic.twitter.com/VQW3ASrzgA— Fring (@jacarpb) July 25, 2019
The Social Network: Part 2— Andreas (@ondrayass) July 25, 2019
More soc more network
One netizen noted thought that it's unlikely that anything good will come out of the US government getting involved in managing social media.
We certainly need government to run social media— Komrade Pinkachu (@bob_hoke) July 25, 2019