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Mark Zuckerberg Responds to Calls to Break Up Facebook

The Associated Press
Andrew Harnik/AP
TOM CICCOTTA

Mark Zuckerberg is pushing back against calls by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes to break up the social media giant.

In an interview with a French news outlet, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg pushed back against recent calls to break up the social media platform he founded. The loudest proponent of the plan to break up Facebook came from Chris Hughes, one of Facebook’s co-founders. In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Hughes expressed his concern about Facebook’s massive control on the dissemination of information.

Mark’s influence is staggering, far beyond that of anyone else in the private sector or in government. He controls three core communications platforms — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — that billions of people use every day. Facebook’s board works more like an advisory committee than an overseer, because Mark controls around 60 percent of voting shares. Mark alone can decide how to configure Facebook’s algorithms to determine what people see in their News Feeds, what privacy settings they can use and even which messages get delivered.

On Monday, Zuckerberg hit back at Hughes’ call to break up Facebook. Zuckerberg argued that Facebook’s success has been predicated on its ability to control its destiny.

If what you care about is democracy and elections, then you want a company like us to invest billions of dollars a year, like we are, in building up really advanced tools to fight election interference.

Our budget for safety this year is bigger than the whole revenue of our company was when we went public earlier this decade. A lot of that is because we’ve been able to build a successful business that can now support that.

Facebook is expected to pay a three to five billion dollar fine for their role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The social media giant is still in negotiations with the Federal Trade Commission over the size of the fine.

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