20:05 GMT28 February 2021
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    After leaving the company in 2007, Facebook co-founder and Mark Zuckerberg’s former roommate at Harvard Chris Hughes has become a staunch critic of the social media giant, arguing that it has accumulated too much power.

    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.

    In this April 11, 2018 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington
    © AP Photo / Andrew Harnik
    In this April 11, 2018 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington

    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.

    Others, however, laughed off his efforts as merely being the revenge of a "hater".

    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.

    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.

    One netizen noted thought that it's unlikely that anything good will come out of the US government getting involved in managing social media.


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