Facebook has had a rough couple of years but people calling for the scandal-ridden(data privacy and misinformation) social media giant to break up is kind of missing the point and there has to be a better solution than splitting it. Calls for the breaking up the company have been growing from US senators such as Elizabeth WarrenAmy Klobuchar, Mark Warner, WhatsApp co-founder, Brian Acton, who told people to delete the Facebook app after his dramatic departure, and ex-Facebook cofounders.

There has been a new consensus among ex-Facebook co-founders have been on the forefront criticizing the very social media platform they built. From Dustin Moskovitz, Justin Rosenstein(led development of Facebook’s like button) who has warned about the negative effects of social media on individual psychology, Sean Parker(Facebook’s first president) now worries about the impact of social media on children, Chamath Palihapitiya(led Facebook’s all-important growth team in its early days) said people should take “a hard break” from social media while talking at a Stanford Graduate School of Business talk.  The recent anti-Facebook sentiment is from Facebook ex-co-founder, Chris Hughes who wrote an op-ed for the New York Times where he renounced the company he helped to build. Here’s his profile if you didn’t know who he is.

His post was received well and not so well as people had mixed feelings.

Facebook responded to the op-ed via their vice president of global affairs and communication, Nick Clegg who said that they are too successful to be broken up.

His statement was strange since he had previously been calling for other companies to split up before joining Facebook

People noted the hypocrisy

Going back to the op-ed, Chris points out Facebook’s anti-competitive behavior toward its rivals, how powerful it has gotten, how it’s invading our private information and attention plus the traumatic effects it’s placing on content moderators. He ends up giving his two cents on what remedies to follow up including Facebook to separate Instagram and WhatsApp from the behemoth. He also called for setting up a government agency with the intention of protecting consumer privacy and regulating internet speech but the latter part is confusing as it makes for a terrible argument.

What to do now?

Will breaking up Facebook work? Maybe or maybe not? “What problems are we trying to solve, and does a breakup really address them?” Shira Ovide asks in her article adding that the breakup call needs more thought put into it.

Critics are unsure if any of these plans will actually help deal with any of the concerns people normally raise. Mike points that breaking up the internet giants seems more opportunistic and headline-grabbing than realistic and that the real way to “break up” big tech platforms is to push for a world of protocols, rather than platforms, which would push the power out to the ends of the network, rather than keeping them centralized under a single silo with a giant owner.

Matt Rosoff shares the same sentiments on CNBC arguing that Facebook is not a monopoly in its actual market, advertising and that the problems it is currently facing would better be solved through targeted, strictly enforced regulation.

What are your thoughts?

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