A Facebook founder warns of Zuckerberg's 'near-unilateral power'

A Facebook founder warns of Zuckerberg's 'near-unilateral power'

Chief Product Officer Chris Cox, who had been at the company for 13 years and was one of Zuckerberg's closest lieutenants, stepped down in March around the same time Facebook announced a pivot towards more private messaging. Hughes joins "CBS This Morning" to discuss why he chose to speak out about his concerns. "Today's big tech companies have too much power".

Hughes told CNN he hasn't spoken to Zuckerberg since his New York Times piece was published.

Zuckerberg will no doubt be furious that Facebook's algorithms didn't warn him this was coming by monitoring Hughes' behaviour on the site closely enough. As Hughes points out, the United States broke up Standard Oil, competition increased, the companies that spun off succeeded, and the American people won. "And the government needs to step in and break it up".

But during his interview with CNN, Hughes said the company's issues run far deeper than any one scandal. Kamala Harris also said breaking up the company is something that "we have to seriously take a look at". "And then people get outraged". With those companies once again serving as competitors to Facebook, there might be a chance that competition could return to the social media industry, where a major new company hasn't appeared on the scene since 2011.

In retrospect, regulators, media and the general public have all done a poor job pushing for real changes in regard to Facebook. Elizabeth Warren, who has previously inveighed against the power of Facebook, applauded Hughes for his op-ed.

Hughes is confident that accountability can come through government intervention, despite a perception that lawmakers are clueless about things like social media following Zuckerberg's testimony on Capitol Hill. "In my view - and that of most people who write about technology's impact on society - what matters is not size but rather the rights and interests of consumers, and our accountability to the governments and legislators who oversee commerce and communications". "But I feel a sense of anger and responsibility", Hughes said.

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"In this competitive environment, it is hard to sustain the claim that Facebook is a monopoly", argued the VP.

Hughes suggested Zuckerberg should be held responsible for the privacy and other lapses at the company, echoing a call earlier this month by Democratic US Senator Ron Wyden to hold the CEO individually liable for "repeated violations" of privacy.

As his business track record has shown, Facebook co-founder and former publisher of The New Republic, Chris Hughes, may not be the most talented entrepreneur in the world.

"The - your biggest concern, you say in the piece is the degree to which Mark Zuckerberg has nearly total control over what information we all read about, access", said Zakaria.

Buttigieg's comments demonstrate his willingness to distance himself from Zuckerberg, despite an early friendship.

"I really don't know if we're gonna be friends", Hughes said. "Probably not, but there are some friendships where you have disagreements, and big ones, and you still stay friends".

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