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Digital Transformation Download: Q&A with author Kate O'Neill

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Stephen Lepitak
Editor at The Drum
Kate O'Neill
Founder at KO Insights

Facebook co-founder calls for break up of digital 'monopoly'

Cofounder urges break up of Facebook’s social media ‘monopoly’

One of Facebook’s co-founders has issued a clarion call for regulators to take action and break up the social media empire, penning an impassioned opinion piece in which he claims the power concentrated in Mark Zuckerberg’s hands is "unprecedented and un-American".

Chris Hughes, who helped co-found the social Goliath with Zuckerberg while at Harvard college, detailed how he has watched as the business has steadily eaten up competitors such as WhatsApp and Instagram.

Writing in the New York Times Hughes said: “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.

“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. It is time to break up Facebook.”

Facebook alone now counts over 2 billion monthly users, while WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram count a further 1 billion monthly users apiece.

Fellow Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz took aim at Hughes on Twitter, suggesting he was alone in his opinion.

Hughes' call to action echoes those of senator Elizabeth Warren who has previously pledged to cut Silicon Valley titans down to size if ever elected as president.

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