Economy & Trade

Facebook pushes back after co-founder calls for company's break-up

Facebook is pushing back after one of the company's own founders called for it to be broken up on Thursday, saying it would be better for lawmakers to instead impose new rules upon the social network.

“Facebook accepts that with success comes accountability," Nick Clegg, Facebook's vice president of global affairs and communications, said in a statement on Thursday.

"But you don’t enforce accountability by calling for the breakup of a successful American company," Clegg continued. "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. Indeed, he is meeting Government leaders this week to further that work.”

Clegg's comments were in response to Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who published an op-ed in The New York Times saying the company has grown too big and powerful.

Zuckerberg is planning to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern next week.

Hughes' column made waves on Thursday for its blistering critique of Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"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," Hughes wrote. "It is time to break up Facebook."

Hughes isn't the first person who had a formative impact on the company in its early years to turn on it amid its growing public scrutiny.

Roger McNamee, one of the company's earliest investors, has also called for it to be broken up.


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